About the project

Recchia and Tugnoli started working together in 2011 exploring the subtle social transformations taking place in Afghanistan through the lenses of art and culture. For a photojournalist like Tugnoli, the challenge is to find an angle to move beyond visual stereotypes. For Recchia, the desire is to leave behind the logic of development and the jargon of international aid to produce a narrative that was both rigorous and poetic.

Exploring the possibilities of an intimate visual and textual language, our work aims at challenging the stereotypes that reduce Afghanistan to war, poverty and inequality. We reside in the narrow space where the personal and the political intersect thus inviting the reader on a journey behind the scenes.

Our first book, The Little Book of Kabul, depicts a portrait of Kabul through the daily activities of a number of artists who live and work in the city. In 20 short stories and 47 photographs, the book is a close up on the lives of the main characters, exploring what it takes to be an artist in Kabul, hence unveiling the beauty and brutality of the city.

In our new book project, Follow the Hoopoe, we are aiming to travel through Afghanistan from the 1960s to the present. Listening to the tales of voyageur extraordinaire Nancy Dupree, we journey between the past and the present of a country full of geopolitical challenges, lost hopes and unexpressed potentials. The parallel timelines of words and images that seamlessly wander between different ages will invite the readers to articulate their own historical and geographical understanding of the last 60 years in Afghanistan.

About the artist

Francesca Recchia, researcher and writer based in Kabul, is interested in the geopolitical dimension of cultural processes and in recent years has focused her research on urban transformations, creative practices and intangible heritage in countries in conflict.
Lorenzo Tugnoli is a documentary photographer. He spent five years living in and covering Afghanistan. His work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Newsweek, Time Magazine and The Washington Post.