Mention Afghanistan and most people immediately think of destruction, soldiers, and bloodshed. Afghan Tales, a traveling photo exhibition supported by the Danish organization Commerce and Culture, aims to counter those connotations with images of daily life in the war-torn country. The project features a selection from over 25 Afghan photojournalists and artists, and constitutes one of the most extensive displays of Afghan photography to date.
The goal of the exhibit is to shift the focus of photography in Afghanistan to incorporate depictions of normalcy and to present a more nuanced portrait of today’s Afghanistan to an international audience. In the vein of projects like Everydayafrica (a collection of images shot on mobile phones showing daily life throughout the African continent), this project aims to counter the one-dimensional vision of the country.
The juxtapositions in the photographs reveal the contraditions and singularities of Afghanistan: It is a land where women wear burqas, but occasionally—literally—kick up their heels, where men install a satellite dish for an outdoor television, where a man carrying bright balloons whizzes past an abandoned palace.
This spectrum of images make up modern-day Afghanistan, offering a fresh look at the country.