I’ve photographed a great many projects in Afghanistan over the years. I pay my ‘rent’ by shooting for the AKTC who very kindly took me in and allow me to live with them whenever I’m visiting.

Their compound is a home from home and an ‘ear on the ground’ for all the information I need to safely make my projects there. In return I take pictures of their wonderful restoration projects.

Part of the massive Aga Khan Development Network, an NGO who build hospitals and schools and do relief work all over the Muslim world, the AKTC are focussed on restoring Afghanistan’s cultural heritage. With funding from some of the foreign embassies in Kabul, an organisation run by Afghans (with a little foreign help) has worked to bring back from ruins Afghanistan’s history and put some pride back into Afghan hearts. They are led by my good friend Ajmal Maiwandi, born in Afghanistan, educated in America and a taught architecture at the Bartlett in London. They’ve recently produced a book of all of their projects over the last 15 years or so; I’m very proud that much of the photography is mine.

-Simon Norfolk


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