Larry Towell: Afghanistan
For 30 years, Afghanistan has known only war. In this volume, renowned Magnum photographer Larry Towell presents a moving and in-depth look at the country, whose citizens and landscapes are affected by conflict on a daily basis. Towell, a veteran conflict reporter, has worked in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, Palestine and Israel, as well as Afghanistan. This work, shot between 2008 and 2011, offers a tour de force examination of survival, exile, loss and recuperation. Towell shows the war from a variety of perspectives--from military camps to domestic interiors--and offers depictions of US and British soldiers, landmine victims, ordinary Afghan citizens, cityscapes and weaponry, as well as a rare series of Taliban portraits. This volume presents a facsimile of the photographer’s original artist maquette, complete with his handwritten notes and stories and over 350 images, including collages. A true art object, this book conveys the complexity of the conflict, which has roots that go deep into historical and tribal grievances. Beautifully produced in a limited edition, this extraordinary object offers an important historical document on present-day Afghanistan seen through its social, political and environmental landscapes.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
A multifaceted survey of a nation plagued by war and shrouded in stereotypes, Larry Towell's images, notes and photo collages show a complex country from a vast variety of perspectives.
Holly Stuart Hughes
His new book is a deeply personal reflection on his expereinces in teh country. The bok is a reproduction of a maquette he made, with photos stuck onto the pages and handwritten notes around them, as well as collages of multiple images overlapping.
Many of the pages are croweded with images that show subtle variations of a scene or subject. He includes typologies: a series of Russian army helmets, another on prosthetics made for landmine victims, another on weapons. These catalogues of objects are a reminder of Afghanistan's recent history of conflict, dating back to the Soviet invasion of the 1980's.
Essentially a richly detailed scrapbook of Larry Towell's time covering Afghanistan, this reproduction of his original artist's maquette gets under the skin of the country and into the mind of the photographer. It's about as close to a 360-degree view of the place as a Westerner can provide. The book covers ordinary Afghans, Western and Afghan soldiers, war victims, street scenes, and political machinations. The inclusion of Towell's notes, contact sheets, and of course, excellent images, makes this a treasure for those who like to pull back the curtain on a photographer's process.