About the Photographer
Joseph Hoyt is an American photographer who as a young traveler spent nearly five years during the 1970s living among Afghanistan’s ordinary people. His powerful black and white images offer a glimpse of a bygone era, when Afghanistan was a peaceful meeting place of various cultures. During this time Afghanistan’s economy and educational systems were thriving, food was plentiful, bazaars were brimming and there was a burgeoning tourist trade.
“Nearly every day we are exposed to the images of the people, landscapes, and everyday life in Afghanistan. The world’s press, by focusing it’s lens on the turmoil and despair of the tragedy that has been unfolding there for the past 30 years, reminds us of the importance of saving Afghanistan from the forces intent on it dominance or destruction. My collection of images, on the other hand, offer a valuable record of what life was like some 40 years ago – a contrasting view to what has become stereotypical press imagery”.
I like this description of an Afghan: The characteristics of an Afghan: Proud, dignified, even melodramatic, generous, quixotic, often exasperating, sometimes brutal and quite unforgettable.
Courtesy of Rosanne Klass, the American author of Land of the High Flags, Afghanistan When The Going Was Good, 1964