Afghanistan: A Window on the Tragedy

Thirty-seven-year-old Basque-born Alen Silva is a photographer for newspapers in his native Basque Country, Spain. Beyond doing that work, he has also, over the past fourteen years, travelled widely throughout Latin America and Asia. In fact, he is now planning a return to Asia to make a documentary film about the Afghan refugee camps near Peshawar in Pakistan.

Twice, Silva travelled across a desperately war-torn Afghanistan, going into areas where few foreigners would even think of daring to venture. As a result, Silva brings us this extraordinary book, with its soul-searing photographs of a devastated land. Through Silva’s unblinking and often very beautiful images, the viewer can see—among the ruins of Kabul and of the Bamiyan Buddhas, in the wreckage of Soviet tanks, in the sad ruin of Afghan society itself—that the hope for peace still lights the weary faces of the Afghan people, a people who readily welcomed Silva to their homeland.

Well-known actor, writer, and dedicated activist Mike Farrell writes:

Alen Silva’s window on the tragedy of Afghanistan is a wondrous demonstration of the value art can bring to life. His work vividly depicts the history, the haunting beauty, the glory and the horror of Afghanistan. This book rips at the conscience while it begs for a future for this ravaged land.

98 b/w images

Alen Silva

Patrick Doyle & Tobias Doyle

The Oliver Arts & Open Press


Alan Rachins
Bahman Ghobadi
Bernardo Atxaga
Ezzat Goushegir
Gillian Anderson
John Sistiaga
Malalai Joya
Michael Ratner
Mike Farrell
Suheir Hammad
Susan Kelly-DeWitt
Toti Martinez de Lezea
Yasmina Khadra