Exhibit Review: Afghanistan photography by Helmut Schultze
Exhibit Review Afghanis
By YONATON SILVERMANAfghanistan: Travels
Beyond the Horizon
Photos by Helmut Schultze
Museum of Islamic Art
The social and political problems that seem to plague Afghanistan endlessly are showing no signs of lessening or even lending themselves to rational understanding.
But the excellent color photographs of Afghanistan by Helmut Schulze on display at Jerusalem's Museum of Islamic Art for the next six months essentially rise above these intractable conflicts. The photographs present a rich and memorable lesson in the geography and anthropology of this remote, struggling land and its people.
The exhibition, which contains more than 120 glossy color prints, is divided into section roughly according to location. The capital Kabul leads the sequence with some particularly poignant shots of the ruins of the king's palace, destroyed by the Taliban. The caption notes that in Kabul practically everything has been destroyed by the Taliban - except for the mosques.
Another illuminating group of photos focuses on the city of Mazar-e Sharif - in the 15th century one of the most important centers of the Islamic faith, a status its portentous blue mosque attests to.
"Buzkashi" is atough horse riding sport which literally means "snatch up the goat." The exhibition features 10 or 15 color photographs of an actual Buzkashi contest in which the competitors contend over a goat carcass wearing heavy protective gear.
The most dramatic landscapes in the exhibition, however, are from The Blue Lakes of Bande e Amir, one of Afghanistan's natural wonders.
The photographs by Schulze, a renowned photojournalist in Germany, tell a captivating and educational story about life and culture in Afghanistan today.
Yonatan Silverman is a Hebrew to English translator in Tel Aviv. He is the author of For the World to See: The Life of Margaret Bourke White (New York, 1983), and publishes an email newsletter called Sartaba.
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