16 January, 2021

Life After Holocaust

The Afghan capital presents layers of history—some recent. But we chose to dodge war-ravaged images.

Gauri Gill
Life After Holocaust
In April this year, I visited Kabul along with writer Shuddhabrata Sengupta to talk to a group of local photographers who have been documenting the life of their city for the past year. Over six days, we looked at the many histories within Kabul. We started with the old, exotic city with its own street of birds-Ka Farushi. I'm sure it looked the same a hundred years ago.

We skirted around the glittering new 'Pakistani style' homes owned by drug warlords in the elite neighbourhood of Wazi Akbar Khan-they don't like being photographed at all-on to the Sikhs in Karte Parwan, many of whom have returned to Kabul because in India they were desperate to return 'home', on to the old Russian part of town where the buildings were facsimiles of DDA flats in Delhi.

Then there are the oases. Bagh-e-Babar has just been restored by the Aga Khan Foundation-it's where the city comes out to stroll down the terraced garden with its tapestry of trees. A guard there said to me, "Babar yahan ke they, lekin khidmat unhonay India ki ki (Babar came...


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