News Release - July 28, 2008

For Immediate Release: July 28, 2008

Contact: Marcia Schneider (415) 557-4252

Afghanistan 1970 - 1975: Images From an Era of Peace

Photos by Joseph N. Hoyt on display at S.F. Main Library

October 11, 2008 - January 18, 2009

Remarkable black and white pre-war 1970s photographs of Afghanistan by Joseph N. Hoyt will be on display in the Skylight Galley of the San Francisco Main Library October 11, 2008 - January 18, 2009. The photos depict people of all ages, landscapes and ancient ruins in a poor but culturally and historically rich nation before the start of conflict and turmoil.

"The photographs in this collection reveal an Afghanistan very different from the one we hear about today. What we see in these images is not just an Afghanistan at peace, but a people and a country at peace within itself - a remarkable country and its resilient people going about their daily routines," said Hoyt.

Nomadic tribes, stunning landscapes, Bamian ruins, textile markets and architecture are reflected in the photographs. Hoyt notes, "They portray the lives of a rugged and courageous people; their handsome faces and laughing children living as they have for centuries."

The Afghani poet Rumi once said, "Only from your heart can you touch the sky." In one photograph children are seen flying kites from a rooftop, a carefree activity recalling a more innocent time, since banned by the Taliban regime.

Hoyt spent a total of three years exploring Afghanistan, capturing the people, landscape, and culture at peace, with bustling markets, a thriving economy and a welcoming people. The photographs represent the provinces of Badakhshan, Bamian, Farah, Ghazni, Helmand, Kabul, Kandahar, Kunduz, Nangargar, Nimruz, Parvan and Takhar.

A catalogue by Joseph N. Hoyt entitled Afghanistan 1970-1975: Images From An Era of Peace complements the exhibition and will be available in the Friends of the Library bookstore, Bookbay Main, for purchase. The catalogue features 50 duotone black-and-white photographs accompanied by text that reveals the visual and artistic depth of the images.

For more information about Afghanistan 1970-1975 Images From An Era of Peace, please call (415) 557-4277.

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