Friday, 23 February 2007

Afghanistan - A Journey, artist's book by Peter Chasseaud (2007)

Peter Chasseaud and Altazimuth Press



Peter Chasseaud, Altazimuth Press, Lewes, 2007
A new publication. Signed & numbered, digitally printed, limited edition of 100 copies. Priced at £100.

This book was inspired by the artist /author’s trip through Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan in 1972, seen from today. The poetic text is built around his original travel journal, and the black-and-white photographs which he took while travelling, using a folding pocket Kodak camera, giving negatives 2¼-inches square. The text was written in the summer of 2006 during the fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and considers the ‘clash of civilisations’, cultures, war, religion, identity, memory, history and empires.

· 50 black & white photographs by artist /author.
· Maps, documents, other images.
· 6,000-word poetic text, by artist/author.
· Designed and bound by artist /author.
· Soft covers and maps in colour.
· Landscape-format, 12 x 18 inches (30 x 45 cm).
· 72pp including covers.
· Digitally printed.

Extract from text:

Gridded by mind-scored graticule of latitude, longitude,
seamed by footsore roads, quick or sluggish serpentine rivers, ringing railways
in the country’s grain, the lie of the land (like lines on my hand),
I travel too lightly through the peoples of Europe, of Asia;
their villages, towns, cities, their valleys, mountains, plains.
Arteries of people and of blood, tracks, routes, migrations, invasions, deportations,
flows and contraflows, tides of war and death, pools of peace.

War scuttles ahead, snatches at my heels, scatters blood and broken stone,
shattered buildings, shivered bodies, shock and awe.
Power, violence, empire:
politicians and statesmen front the money, rig systems, markets, information,
squeeze last drops – sweat, tears, blood – from we the people.

We thread our confused way through culture wars, shooting ones,
clashes of civilisations,
cross borders in the gaps between;
wary of fanatics, fundamentalists, dysfunctional casualties,
collateral damage, fly low, under their radar, dodge the flak.

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