Special issue on Afghanistan

Renewal: Afghanistan

23 October 2015

Lorenzo Tugnoli, From the series The Little Book of Kabul


The hollow niche that encases the shattered remains of the Buddha in Bamiyan, an act enforced by the Taliban in 2001, was one of the images which seemingly captured the fate of Afghanistan – of religious intolerance and extremism. The issue attempts to unearth newer strains of practice that could unravel how visual culture may have changed through social media interventions and other practice driven initiatives, looking at more local imaging traditions and personal narratives with a generation that today faces a brutal past but is willing to freely engage in dialogue with the rest of the world. Hence through this issue, we seek to understand photography’s role in evolving visual histories that run parallel to news media, in a country where documentary and evidence photography have more likely been the predominant forms.

With support from  PioneersPost_BritishCouncil_logo_1


A ‘New’ Contemporary Art In Afghanistan

Rahraw Omarzad

If ‘modernism’ is about how cultures adapt to and absorb from one another and how they develop a distinct language over time, the golden age of art in Afghanistan can be accorded to namely the 16th century. Herat, then the capital of Afghanistan was a prominent centre in the east – an...

Photography Renewed

Farzana Wahidy

There is a long, rich and interconnected history of visual arts in Afghanistan. The monumental statues of Buddha in Bamiyan constructed in the 2nd century A.D. during the reign of Kinishka, a powerful king of the Kushan Empire (60 – 375 A.D.) were a symbol of fortitude if not resilience and...

A Gulf In Practice

Rahaab Allana

…the right way to photograph, to look at painting, to understand a country, to shun the picturesque, to ‘think’ a story, to ‘organize it in the mind;’ and of course to see – to learn to see...     -Marc Riboud as quoted in the Photobook Review, May ’13. While...

The Kabul Photography Workshop

Akshay Mahajan & Tanvi Mishra

Our taxi pulled up to an address at the busy intersection at Shahr-E-Nau as Kabul rushed by with late autumn colours. We were running late for a meeting at the newly minted offices of the Afghanistan Photography Network (APN); one of several such meetings with organisations concerned with...



Two Afghan Films

Asad Hussain


The Country’s Soul

Hamid Soltanabadian


The Little Book of Kabul

Lorenzo Tugnoli & Francesca Recchia


Afghan Box Camera Project

Lukas Birk & Sean Foley


Life in War

Majid Saeedi


Years of Forgetting

Mujaheda Khowajazada

in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi)


Mustafa Quraishi

An Afghan wedding photographer shows bridal portraits at his photo studio in Kabul, March 6, 2014. Despite decades of conflict in Afghanistan, and several recent militant attacks, the country's capital Kabul is home to a vibrant youth scene of musicians, artists, athletes and activists. Shopping malls and cafes stand in the city, which is nonetheless beset by infrastructure problems and instability. Afghanistan is preparing for an election on April 5 that should mark the first democratic transfer of power in the country's history, but it has been hit by a tide of violence as the Islamist Taliban movement has ordered its fighters to disrupt the vote and threatened to kill anyone who participates.

The Modern Face of Kabul

Morteza Nikoubazl

Un père se fait photographier avec ses enfants devant un des décors du City Star, un wedding hall réputé de la capitale afghane. Les wedding halls («salons de mariage») sont de gigantesques salles de réception où sont célébrés les mariages dans les villes, dans lesquels on compte généralement un millier d’invités minimum. Kaboul, Afghanistan 2012.

Afghan Dream

Sandra Calligaro


Dreams of Graffiti

Shamsia Hassani

Kabootar-baazi,Pigeon Racer. Old City, Kabul.

We can only see what we vibrate to.
"Each moment is the centre of Time, because eternity stretches around each moment in all directions. Therefore every moment is the same as every other. The cosmos being nonlocal i.e it can't be mapped as a location, has no up or down, north or south, east or west. These are only points of reference for our convenience at our particular frequency (i.e inside a body). The transformational process after death is not a movement to some other place or time; it is just a change in the quality of our attention. You can only see what you vibrate to".
                                                                           'Life after Death' - by Deepak Chopra.

No Strings Attached

Sumit Dayal