© Fazal Sheikh, 2022


Abdul Aziz, with a photograph of his brother Mula Abdul Hakim
Fazal Sheikh
Digital print with pigment ink on handmade paper
Printed area size: 47,8 × 48 cm
Paper size: 53,8 × 53,8 cm
Titled and signed in pencil on the front
Born: Nueva York, 1965
Abdul Aziz © Fazal Sheikh, 2020 © Fundación MAPFRE COLLECTIONS

© Fazal Sheikh, 2022


In 1996 Fazal Sheikh traveled to Pakistan in order to visit the birthplace of his grandfather. During his trip to the border with Afghanistan he encountered the extraordinary reality of the hundreds of thousands of Afghans who had fled the country after the Soviet invasion and who, for 20 years, had been waiting in the refugee camps for the moment when they would be able to return to their homes.

In his personal search for the footprints of his family legacy, Fazal Sheikh ended up discovering a community that had made memory the axis of its existence and its main way of resisting destitution. Published as a photobook in 1998—and again in 2001 on the occasion of North American bombings over Afghanistan—The Victor Weeps gathers the stories that the refugees shared with the photographer, stories that the community also shared amongst themselves,  of battles, of loved ones who died in combat, and evocations of their lost home. The book is many layered and includes kids’ drawings, portraits, desolate landscapes, landscapes marked by the suspension of life inherent to refugee camps, and transcriptions of testimonies. As in the photograph of Abdul Aziz holding a picture of his brother, the images in the book document a reality fraught with loss which memory—words and images—tries to reestablish.

Abdul Aziz © Fazal Sheikh, 2020 © Fundación MAPFRE COLLECTIONS

© Fazal Sheikh, 2022

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