Light and Water, Herat, 1974
Some of the best rugs we see these days are being woven in the small towns and villages of Afghanistan, a country that has seen war for half a century. We might ask ourselves: who are these people that not only find the courage to endure, but are capable of producing such profound works of artistic beauty?
Many people forget that the Afghans are a people of poetry and art — a people of tolerance and ingenuity whose unique traditions date back over a thousand years. While doing some research for a customer on the Hazara tribal weavers of the Bamyan region, I came across some photos that seemed to capture the beauty of the Afghan people in a way I had not thought possible.
The Lone Rider, 1975
In 1971, a painter by the name of Luke Powell visited Afghanistan for the first time and found himself in awe of the visual imagery around him. However, his attempts to sketch what he saw attracted so much attention that he found it hard to work, so he started experimenting with a camera. Luckily for the world of photography, Luke found he had a wonderful talent behind the lens.
The photographs Luke took in Afghanistan throughout the 70s, particularly those known as “The Afghan Folio”, rank as some of the most captivating travel photographs ever taken. The Afghan Folio was was exhibited in the Smithsonian, the United Nations European Headquarters, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Manesh Exhibition Hall in Moscow among others.
Kunduz Girls, 2003
Lavender Flowers Near Maimana, 1978
Boys with a Calf, West of Khanabad, 2003
Wedding Party, Paghman, 1978