Jean Charles Blanc: Radio Kabul


Blanc's photos explore Afghanistan circa 1963, starkly different from today's nation.
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In 1963, photographer Jean Charles Blanc, together with two friends from France, set out for India by car, crossing through Afghanistan. What they discovered was an exotic, unknown piece of earth, an archaic world with a delicately sprawling modernity, far from the turmoil, powers, political upheavals, and wars that would plague the country in the coming decades.

Blanc returned in 1972, this time for several months. He visited villages and cities, theatrical performances, bars and markets, portrayed people and landscapes alike. Today, more than forty years after its creation, Blanc's black-and-white photographs are testimony to a submerged world: the images are strangely familiar to the western observer and at the same time are disturbingly different from what we commonly think of Afghanistan. Blanc shows us the longing, unspoiled landscapes, touching portraits and intimate moments of a country and its inhabitants, whose hopeful look at the future was brutally crushed shortly thereafter.
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