Afghanistan: A Personal Homage • Chris-Steele Perkins • Magnum Photos

Magnum Pro

Editorial Cultural Commercial Search Image Archive

Welcome to the New Magnum Photos Site

Explore the award-winning storytelling work of Magnum photographers here, or head to Magnum Pro to search and license photos from Magnum’s acclaimed image archive.

CONTINUE TO NEW SITE
SEARCH PHOTO ARCHIVE IN MAGNUM PRO
Arts & Culture

Afghanistan: A Personal Homage

A photographer and a poet record the cycles of wonder and violence in daily Afghan life throughout the 1990s

Chris Steele-Perkins

Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Man watches sunset. Outside Jalalabad, Afghanistan. 1994. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Cock fight. Kabul, Afghanistan. 1994. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Weekly bathing for children in the orphanage. Kabul, Afghanistan. 1994. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Trying out artificial limbs at ICRC clinic. Victims are mostly from landmine accidents. Kabul, Afghanistan. 1994. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Making nan bread. Afghanistan. 1994. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Forces of warlord General Dostum on their way to the front against the Taliban. Afghanistan. 1996. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Taliban fighters take refuge behind armor as they try to move up the Panjshir valley against government forces. Afghanistan. 1996. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Lapis Lazuli miners take a rest. Afghanistan. 1998. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Outside teahouse. Afghanistan. 1998. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Young man looks out door. Afghanistan. 1998. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Women in burqa walk in front of destruction from the war. Kabul, Afghanistan. 1994. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Portrait of elderly man. Afghanistan. 1998. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Woman whose home has been destroyed. Kabul, Afghanistan. 1996. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Summer herding of goats and sheep toward green pastures in the mountains. Afghanistan. 1998. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Buskashi players. Afghanistan. 1995. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Street barber. Kabul, Afghanistan. 1996. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Taliban fighters move against Masood's forces. Afghanistan. 1996. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos
Chris Steele-Perkins | Afghanistan Displaced families live in empty schools in overcrowded, smoky, and unsanitary conditions. Afghanistan. 1994. © Chris Steele-Perkins | Magnum Photos

Afghanistan is a collaboration by the photographer Chris Steele-Perkins and the Afghan poet Sayd Bahodine Majrouh. Steele-Perkins has created a profoundly personal homage and celebration of Afghanistan, a place he visited numerous times in the course of five years. Throughout that time, the country was ravaged by a succession of wars, as it continues to be today.

 

"It was heroic, beautiful, violent, twisted, gracious, and tragic. The experience of being there works its way into one's being; an infection of the soul demanding that you return.
"

- Chris Steele-Perkins

Steele-Perkins has sought to capture the continuing cycles of everyday life despite the reality of war, resulting in a collection of images of wonder and violence, terror and joy. In order to do justice to this long-suffering country, Steele-Perkins felt the appropriate response was not a book of photojournalism, but a photography book that transcends journalism.

His message is one of hope and as a result, the photographs are unforgettable rather than sensationalistic. Excerpts from the masterpiece of the greatest Afghan writer of the 20th century, Sayd Bohodine Majrouh, who was assassinated in 1988, deepen the significance of this book in a way that no journalistic commentary ever can. All of the photographs are reproduced in miniature and appended at the end with captions by the photographer. Revealing and poignant, Afghanistan is a visual and aural testament to a fascinating country.