A Year at Seebag: Afghanistan

Arifkhans village sprung from a single house, of a single room, 120 years ago in central Afghanistan. Then, as now his family where  masons. The year 1890 is molded in white plaster on the far wall of the founding toom, a contrast in negative to the ornate colored moldings making up the wall, & the carved wood lattice work of the ceiling. Carpets run inches deep wall to wall, the inset arches are occupied with tea service sets & a m16-A4.
The founding room of Arifkhan’s village
Arifkhan explains: the village grew from his lone family, from this single room, to a population of more than 3,000. His daughters run around, run themselves tired, & collapse onto his crossed legs. Tea is punctuated by trays of flat bread, rice, then goat, & finally long thin Chinese cigarettes.
A Tessar Lungheei, Afghan Style Special Edition Print #2
The next day the Land Cruiser follows winding horse paths. Horses still outnumber cars, & the Horsemen still wear the Tessar Lungheei, a golden 3 meter long turban. On great mounted raids, in the not so distant past, the meters long tail of this turban served as battle banner. Seeing one unfurled at speed today, the only word for it is: elan. That word died in 1914 in France, but here during a Neza-Bazi match it is alive, & galloping.
The Seebag and Tango on the road in Afghanistan
The winding horse paths follow a wadi, into the vernacular mesh of Afghan architecture: the squat mudbrick rectangle. We drive along the path until it breaks into a village, through its very walls. We’ve taken the Cruiser through someone’s living room, the road driving through the very walls, it’s moldings, interior arches, motifs & paint dusted by what could have been a few weeks or a century.
Arifkhans familly Mosque, Afghan Style Special Edition print #1
The maze of mudbrick yields to grazing land & a pastel hued building crests a far hill. Arifkhan tell us to stop, he motions to the pastel building ahead, the Mosque his family built. he asks one of the old men leaving about the bridge ahead & yesterday’s rains.
If you would like to hit the road with your own Seebag, the pre-order ends today. Two of the images from this story are included in Afghan Style, both in the book itself & as prints included with the special edition  

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