Dread and Dreams


Hardcover, 11 X 13 In. / 144 Pages / 28 Color / 63 Duotone 
ISBN 9781942084020 
List Price: $50.00 

Struggle, grief, and yet the dream of normalcy — these are just some in a complex mix of emotions pictured in a new book by Afghan-born photographer Zalmaï.”,
- Time Lightbox, June 29, 2015

“Zalmaï returns to his homeland and brings a sympathetic eye to the survivors of battle crossfire and of impoverished conditions…”,
- American Photo Magazine, Best Photobooks of the Year, December 11, 2015

Photographs by Zalmaï 

Afghan-born photographer Zalmaï was forced to flee to Switzerland at the age of 15 after the 1980 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As a freelance photographer, Zalmaï has spent years capturing the human cost of war around the world and in his home country, Afghanistan, where he also sees signs of hope. Dread and Dreams brings together photographs Zalmaï made between 2008 and 2013 against the backdrop of the 14-year U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan that culminated in 2014 with the withdrawal of American troops.

The book presents two contrasting bodies of work: Zalmaï’s epic duotone photographs reveal the stark reality of life in Afghanistan for the millions of Afghan refugees who have returned to their country since 2002, only to find they cannot go back to their homes. Instead, they are forced to live in squalid conditions in makeshift refugee camps and urban slums, where most live on the brink of survival and many take refuge in drugs. In counterpoint to this, Zalmaï then presents a second series of sun-tinged color photographs that reflect the hopes and dreams of the Afghan people. Here, Zalmaï takes us away from the monumental humanitarian crisis wrought by war to reveal signs of the positive life force that permeates his country.

Empathetic, indignant, and still hopeful, Zalmaï’s photographs draw attention to Afghanistan’s ongoing struggle, which has largely left the headlines, by focusing on the Afghan people and their lived experience of war, insecurity, chronic governmental mismanagement, corruption on a huge scale and international negligence.