Programme of advanced documentary photography workshops in Afghanistan

Workshops led by photographer Simon Norfolk with
exhibitions in Kabul and New Delhi.


  • Tate Modern, London
  • Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Karwan Photography Festival, New Delhi, India


Building on research and development that has already taken place in the Middle East, the new series of Level 2 international collaborations aims to:

  • foster sustainable artistic links and professional development between cultural and educational organisations in Jordan and the UK through exploring opportunities for collaboration, dialogue and critical thinking about the relationship between Afghanistan and the UK;
  • provide an opportunity for curators and practitioners in Afghanistan and the UK to share knowledge and expertise through working together, becoming a springboard for future collaboration and exchange;
  • facilitate intercultural exchange and inter-regional dialogue and understanding, resulting in wider international exchange and growth of international expertise.
  • create a small exhibition of work by international artists including representation from the region, presenting new artistic practice within a broader international framework.

Project details

In May 2010 Sheena Wagstaff, Chief Curator, Tate Modern and Simon Norfolk travelled to Kabul to research and develop a photographic project in partnership with cultural organisations and photographers working in the Afghanistan. From these initial discussions Simon Norfolk in collaboration with Tate Modern planned a series of intensive documentary photography workshops for small number of photographers already working in Kabul, Afghanistan and the surrounding region. The workshops were devised and led by photographer Simon Norfolk, resulting in new bodies of work for all participating photographers. The project culminates in two exhibitions: one in New Delhi in February 2011 and one in Kabul in March 2011.

A wider publication and accompanying website will illustrate and discuss the project within the wider cultural considerations in contemporary Afghanistan.

Simon Norfolk returned to Kabul in October and November 2010 to teach a demanding and intensive programme of workshops. Norfolk was joined during a number of these sessions by renowned photojournalist Antontio Olmos. Olmos joined the group to discuss his work and significant experience in the field but also to highlight and explore the multimedia and digital skills necessary for a successful photographer working today.

The new works produced by the workshop participants will be exhibited alongside a selection of Simon Norfolk’s new and existing studies of Afghanistan at the first Karwan Photography Festival in New Delhi, 1–14 February 2011. This will be followed subsequently by an exhibition in Kabul in March 2011. The exhibition in Kabul will be presented at the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s newly renovated Timur Shah Mausoleum in the center of Kabul’s market district. The exhibition will be accompanied by a small publication produced by Tate and an accompanying website.

Workshop participants and exhibiting artists:

Nasratullah Ansari
Zekria Gulistani
Massoud Hossani
Jawad Jalai
Ahman Massood
Fardin Waezi
Hassan Zakizadeh

Workshop and exhibition details:

Workshops were held in October and November 2010, at the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Kabul with fieldwork in the city and environs of Kabul.


  • New Delhi, 1–14 February, 2011. As part of the
    Karwan Photography Festival
  • Kabul, March 2011, Timur Shah Mausoleum
  • The project has been undertaken with the support and assistance of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Kabul.

Photograph by Fardin Waez, show a large version of this image

Photograph by Fardin Waez, show a large version of this image

Photograph by Fardin Waez, show a large version of this image