Talk & Book Signing
Artist talk: Zalmaï
Saturday, September 29
2012 Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund grantee Zalmaï is an Afghan-Swiss photographer who has been photographing his native country since the 1990s. For the past several years, he has also been documenting the plight of Afghan refugees throughout the world. The situation is desperate for a majority of the world’s Afghan people, whether at home or abroad. Zalmaï’s photographs and his personal experiences—as both an Afghan displaced from his home by war and a witness to the suffering of others—provide a unique perspective on the Afghan question. Recently, Zalmaï has also worked with Human Rights Watch in Greece, where that country’s financial catastrophes have contributed to harsh, xenophobic attitudes and policies that make life difficult for minority populations.”
Join the Magnum Foundation at Aperture for a presentation of Zalmaï’s photographs and a discussion about photographing the Afghan diaspora, moderated by Peter Lucas, professor of human rights and media at New York University and the New School. Zalmaï will also sign copies of Return, Afghanistan (Aperture 2004).
Zalmaï, who was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, left the country after the Soviet invasion in 1980. He traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he became a Swiss citizen. Zalmaï studied at the School of Photography of Lausanne and at the Professional Photography Training Center of Yverdon. In 1989, he began to work as a freelance photographer, and his work has been published in several magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Le Temps, Newsweek, and La Repubblica. He has also worked for a number of international organizations and NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, the International Committee of the Red Cross, theUN Office On Drug and Crime, and the UN Refugee Agency. His latest award is the Visa D’Or from the Visa Pour l’Image International Photojournalism Festival.
Image: Patras, Greece, July 2011: Chased away by the police from the port city of Patras, many Afghans are hiding in the countryside surrounding the city. With no access to running water or electricity, they live on whatever they can find from the city’s garbage. Here, they wait until they find passage out of the country; usually by stowing away in one of the passing trucks en route to Central and Northern Europe.