Born Kabul, Afghanistan, 1962. Lives Paris, France
'On the threshold of time (Au seuil du temps)', from the series 'The Imaginary Return (Le retour imaginaire)'
Gelatin silver print
Museum no. E.967-2010
Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum
Atiq Rahimi is a writer, film director and photographer who fled Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion in 1984, seeking political refuge in France, where he is now based. He returned to Afghanistan in 2002, after the fall of the Taliban. Confronted by the ruins of Kabul, he decided not to photograph the city with his digital camera. Instead he chose a primitive box camera normally used to take identity portraits in the streets of Kabul. The unpredictable process resulted in dreamlike photographs. They convey the nostalgia and brutal feelings of loss that Rahimi experienced when revisiting the war-wounded city.