The Silk Road has linked East Asia to the West from time immemorial. Once a renowned trade route, it transferred religions and cultures. Long stretches of the artery are now dead or have sunk into miserable conditions. Robert Knoth (*1963) and Antoinette de Jong (*1964) documented the route for two decades, covering the rise of the Taliban, the American intervention after September 11, 2001, and the recent surge in opium production. The photographs reveal a darker side of globalization, as reflected in the faces of smugglers, prisoners, prostitutes, border guards, and police. With stunning landscapes of the former Silk Road as well as what have now become historic pictures of the Afghan civil war, this publication is a richly illustrated journey-supplemented by facts, stories, and quotations. Beginning in Afghanistan, it moves across Central Asia, Russia, and the Balkans to East Africa, Dubai, and into western Europe, where the poppy trail brings us to the streets of London.
Exhibition schedule: Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, March 31-June 10, 2012