POPPY Interactive takes you on an eye-opening journey that reveals how drug money destabilizes
entire countries, fuels global conflicts, and allows a worldwide illegal economy to grow.
About Poppy Interactive
The interactive documentary POPPY takes you on an eye-opening journey that reveals how drug
destabilizes entire countries, fuels global conflicts and allows a worldwide illegal economy to
The implosion of Libya, Syria and Iraq has gone hand in hand with the rise of Islamic State and
such as al Qaeda. Many of those rebel movements have spawned from Afghanistan during the Cold
Globalisation has allowed the very same forces driving the fragmentation of Afghanistan to replicate
elsewhere in the world in ever more violent ways.
POPPY Interactive is a protracted investigation spanning over 20 years and covering the global
nexus of drugs, war and organized crime using photo, video, radio reports and found footage.
Guided by POPPY’s interactive maps you will explore three interconnected routes across the
covering countries and cities on opposite sides of the globe, including Afghanistan, Pakistan,
London, Washington and Brussels.
During your journey you will discover that the connection between war, organized crime and chronic
poverty is tight and complex.
You will meet opium farmers, war lords, drug traffickers, Tajiki border guards (living on a meagre
of 20 dollars a month), a worried mom in streets of East London, and many more. All these people are
part of a large, frayed fabric that is creating havoc in many parts of the world.
About the makers
Antoinette de Jong (Tilburg, 1964) and Robert Knoth (Rotterdam, 1963) are visual storytellers whose
has embraced photography, video, in-depth journalism, radio, installations and book projects. In
highly personal work they aim to show the layered complexity of various social, economic and
issues and the effects of those issues on ordinary people.
They have reported from some of the world's main conflict and post-conflict areas. Antoinette lived
worked in Afghanistan during the 1990s under the Taliban regime. Robert has covered Afghanistan, the
in the former Yugoslavia, and the civil wars in Angola, Somalia and Sierra Leone.
Following their prestigious book, POPPY: Trails of Afghan Heroin, and a renowned video
installation, this new interactive documentary by de Jong and Knoth combines analysis and a
global perspective with intimate personal stories. It took them more than 20 years to unravel an
impressive and elusive global network of insurgents and terrorists, drug cartels, and other criminal
About Submarine Channel
Submarine Channel explores the narrative possibilities of new and emerging genres such as the
documentary, the interactive graphic novel, transmedia storytelling and virtual reality. Notable
projects include the transmedia documentary Last Hijack Interactive (Emmy Award Best Digital
2015), the multiple-award-winning interactive documentary Refugee Republic (2015) and the surreal
tragicomedy in virtual reality Ashes to Ashes (Best immersive 360 video Dutch VR Awards & nominated
the Gouden Kalf “Dutch Oscar”, 2017). Submarine Channel is part of the production company Submarine,
founded by Femke Wolting and Bruno Felix.
POPPY Interactive: War and Organized Crime Gone Global is made
with the support of Creative Industries Fund NL, the Netherlands Film Fund, Fonds 21, Mondriaan
and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK).
a Submarine Channel production
Antoinette de Jong & Robert Knoth
Bruno Felix & Femke Wolting
Christiaan De Rooij
Aart Jan van der Linden
Frank van der Weij,
Jelle van Osenbruggen
Editing teasers & introduction
Maurik de Ridder
Hans Dortmans, Menno Otten, Fabie Hulzebos, Yaniv Wolf, Dagan Cohen, Wieke Kapteijns
POPPY Interactive: War and Organized Crime Gone Global is based on the book and video-installation POPPY: Trails of Afghan Heroin
POPPY: Trails of Afghan Heroin was made possible with the support of
SNS REAAL Fund, VSB Fund, Mondriaan Fund, NCDO, AFEW, Foundation Sem Presser Archive, Foundation for
Democracy and Media, Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, and was produced by Iris Sikking, Paradox.
With special thanks to
Paradox International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Forum Sheffield International Documentary Festival, MeetMarket
Many different people have cooperated in this project, and have supported and encouraged us. We
thank them enough and apologize that the list below is not complete. In our research we are indebted
many journalists and scholars who have published on Afghanistan, South and Central Asia, Russia and
Over the years, scores of people agreed to meet us; they talked with us for hours, sharing
and often trusting us with painful details of their lives. During our travels we have been lucky to
companionship, friendship and heartwarming hospitality.
We would like to thank
Kummer&Herrman, Mark Glynne (Anthill Sound design), YdocPublishing and Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ans de
Jong-ten Barge, Jannie Knoth-te Brake, Muslem Hayat, Tim Johnston, Ismail Khan, Amir Shah, Nadeem
Mehboob Ali, Charlotte Althenhoner, Roberto Arbitrio, Muhammad Ayub, Klaas Jan Baas, Dini Bangma,
Banffer, Hans van Blommestein, Lars Boering, Chris de Bode, Harm Botje, Ilona van der Braak, Jan van
Brannerud, Polly breur, William de Bruin, Heleen Bulthuis, Simon Burer, Jildou van der Bijl, Ian
Kate Clarke, Nick Coke, Rupert Colville, Liz Cotton, Rod Curtis, Ellen van Dalen, Anke van Dam,
Rik Delhaas, Peter Delpeut, Fieneke Diamand, Richard Dion, Henk van den Dool, Richard Donk, Duguf,
Guljan Ermekbaeva, Gijsbert van Es, Lianne Fincken, Galina Fomaidi, Steve Forrest, Bevis Fusha,
Kathy Gannon, Frits Gierstberg, Phil Goodwin, Peter Greste, Marion Grobbee, Hanna van der Haar,
Haider, Toon van Ham, Feruza Hamidova, Marjolein Hammink, Rebecca Harley, Markus Hartmann, Fatos
Hezbollah(driver), Leo van Hee, Ulrike Helmer, John Holland McCowan, Arthur Herrman, Gert Hindrix,
Diederik van Hoogstraten, Lonneke van Hout, Siraj Islam, Maulana Taj-ul-Amin Jabal, Jamal, Ingeborg
Jansen, Huub Jaspers, John Jennings, Alan Johnston, Arendo Joustra, Frits Kemperman, Behrooz Khan,
Muzzamil Khan, Alfred Koster, Theo Kloppenburg, Yulia Kravchuk, Hans Kuitert, Jeroen Kummer, Mark
Lavine, Marina Lisitsina, Frenk van der Linden, Victor Levie, Mike Lusmore, Robina Mahmoud, Blerina
Marini, Jaqueline Maris,
Jitka Markova, Joost van der Meer, HarunMiah, Arjan Muca,Syed Minhaj-ul-Hassan, Genci Mucollari,
Mullajanov, Munir, Ruslan Myatiyev, Fawzia Nabi, Loretta Napoleoni, General Rustam Nazarov,
Hans Nijenhuis, Zarrina Nivozova, John Novis, Willem Offenberg, Olaf van Oudheusden, Warna
Frank Ortmanns, Edlira Papavangjeli, Matthieu Peerlings, Lori Polena, Wieger Poutsma, Suzannah
Ahmet Prenci, Erik van Prooijen, Ahmed Rashid, Natalyia Ruda, Anna Sanginova, Evelien Schotsman,
Schanz, Danusia Schenke, Maarten Schilt, Carola Schoor, Michael Semple, Jotham Sietsma, Wim
Laura Starink, Paul Steenhuis, Fred Stroobants, Devika Strooker, Evgenia Sveshinsky, Rasoul
Ahmed Rashid, William Reeve, Rene van Rijckevorsel, Fred Ritchin, Bart Rijs, Samo Rovan, Grid Rroji,
Sarah Russell, Colonel Sadullo Rahmatulloev, Syed Salahuddin, Sokol Selfollari, Mukhtar Shah,
Mahmood Shah, Aijaz Shaikh, Kathy Sherriff, Iris Sikking, Gert Staal, Jan Willem Steenmeijer, Liz
Spencer, Noel Spencer, Evgenia Sveshinsky, Guillaume Teerling, Herman van den Tempel, Ibrahim
Peter Tinti, Gary Thomas, Katja Thomas, Elena Vaskrisjenska, Riccardo Venturi, Hans Verstraaten,
Dirk-Jan Visser, Yulia Koba, Hans de Vreij, Matthea Vrij, Bas Vroege, Adam Wade, Sue Wade, Daoud
Ingrid Walschot, Maartje Wildeman,
Andrew Wilder, Terrence White, Stuart Worsley, Alem Yacoobi, Rahimullah Yusufzai, Yussuf, Judith
Ehsan Zahine, Sikandar Zaman, Ahmad Zubair
In memory of
Abdi Farah, Sharon Herbaugh, Mirwais Jalil, Tom Little, Natasha Singh, Adri Verzijl
Documentary makers Antoinette de Jong and Robert Knoth have brought together their extensive research to create a website with a clear navigational structure. The user can unravel an impressive network of insurgents and terrorists, drug cartels and other criminal organizations. A journey through various locations and times shows how drug money destabilizes parts of the world, fuels conflict and allows a worldwide illegal economy to grow.
Antoinette de Jong is a writer, photographer and broadcaster, based in the Netherlands. Her work includes in depth reporting and documentaries for VPRO and Radio Netherlands World Service and the BBC World Service. She has worked in many conflict areas including Somalia, Iraq, Former Yugoslavia, and has covered developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan for almost two decades.
Robert Knoth is an internationally renowned documentary photographer. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide. His clients include The Guardian (UK); NRC Handelsblad (NL), New York Times (USA) and Greenpeace.
POPPY Interactive combines text, photos, moving images and sound bites from Antoinette and Roberts’s archive, together with quotes originating from official reports, news and excerpts from YouTube and other online sources.