Return, Afghanistan

Photographs by Zalamai

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11 3/4 x 8 inches 128 pages, 80 four-color and 5 duotone Hardcover 978-1-931788-49-6 Fall 2004

For more than a quarter of a century, Afghanistan has been ravaged by war, drought, and famine. In this magnificent volume, Afghan-born photographer Zalmaï returns home after twenty-three years in exile to rediscover his homeland at a crucial moment of transition. Working in rich color, and frequently using a panoramic format that embraces the vastness of the sky and sand, Zalmaï immerses us in the ravaged landscape and the bustle of reconstruction. “My project tries to capture the resilience of a people who have rarely known peace, their optimism in the face of overwhelming odds and the very real worry that the country remains on a knife-edge and could easily slip back into a nightmare from which it is still trying to escape.”

Zalmaï was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1964; his family settled in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he studied at the School of Creative Photography and at the Center of Professional Education in Photography, Yverdon. He has won several national and international prizes, including the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass and the Photo District Newsannual award for documentary photography. Zalmaï is a member of Association Focale, a cooperative of photographers based in Nyon, Switzerland.