For several years, Zalmai has been documenting the plight of Afghan refugees throughout the world; most recently in Greece, where that country’s financial catastrophes have contributed to harsh, xenophobic attitudes and policies. Under the constant threat of violence, they eke out a life on the fringes of society, often forced to hide themselves away to avoid harm.
“Walking In Quicksand: Afghan Refugees in Greece” portrays Afghans living in the countryside after being chased away from the port city of Patras by local police.
2012 Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund grantee, Zalmai, is an Afghan-Swiss photographer who has been photographing his native country since the 1990s.
Presented in cooperation with the Magnum Foundation.
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Zalmai left the country after the Soviet invasion in 1980. He traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he became a Swiss citizen. Following his passion for Photography, which he discovered very early in life, Zalmai pursued combined studies at both the School of Photography of Lausanne and at the Professional Photography Training Center of Yverdon. In 1989, he began to work as a freelance photographer, traveling around the world from Indonesia to Egypt, from Cuba to the Central African Republic, and eventually returned to Afghanistan, where he continues documenting the ongoing war and plight of the Afghan people.