In July 2017 I returned to my homeland Afghanistan for the fourth time in my life. With my Canon 70D DSLR in hand, I traveled around the capital city of Kabul and my native province of Logar, capturing images of the ordinary. While Kabul has transformed from a site of strict Islamic order to a dysfunctional modern city controlled by the US-supported Afghan government, much of Logar has remained as it was since I first visited as a child in 1999. Part of this stems from the presence of the Taliban, who have resisted modernization projects in the countryside. Despite - or perhaps because of - these differences, both provinces are important sites at which to trace the shadow of the American occupation.
Yet despite these variations in the engineering project, capitalist secularism instead of Maoist socialism, much remains the same. As was the case during the Cultural Revolution, in our current moment thousands of mosques are being destroyed, Islamic teachers or mollas and their followers or talip are being imprisoned and placed in indefinite detention in political reeducation labor camps. Of course the rise of transnational communications that has accompanied the secular, colonization of the Uyghur homeland has also given rise to increased reception of global Islamic movements, and this, more than an intensification of indigenous Islamic traditions, is what is driving the Uyghur turn toward reformist Islam.
UAE-based artist Imranovi was born and raised in Damascus, though fled his country following the outbreak of conflict to avoid conscription into Bashar Al Assad's army. It was while studying English Literature at University in Syria that he found his passion for graphics and software: a talent he soon began to refine and develop.