Thursday 2 April 2009

Australian War Memorial: Out of the Dust on display

Very little remains of the royal palace of Dar-ul-Aman. The former residence of the kings of Afghanistan is now only a ghostly reminder of how the city used to be. The palace – originally intended to house Afghanistan's parliament – is close to Kabul Museum, which has also been plundered. The museum is now being renovated, with Dutch support.  

The palace has been in the hands of NATO troops since 2005. It is now used as an observation post. Restoration work has not yet begun, because it is under NATO occupation and thus vulnerable to attack. There are still plans to house parliament in the building sometime in the future.

Out of the Dust: photos from Afghanistan 

A new exhibition of photos that captures the life of the Afghan people amid the upheaval of war will open this Friday at the Australian War Memorial.

Out of the Dust: Life in Afghanistan pays tribute to the strength and perseverance of the local people as they go about their work and play in the war-ravaged country.

The photos were taken by Dutch photographer Hans Stakelbeek, who was commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to document the reconstruction of Afghanistan during efforts to restore peace and stability to the country.

Stakelbeek made four trips, photographing in Kabul and Oruzgan province as well as other remote areas. Australian and Dutch troops are currently serving side by side in southern Afghanistan.

Out of the Dust will be launched at the Dutch Embassy on Thursday, April 2 at 10am.
Press who wish to attend the launch should contact the Embassy on 6220 9417.

The exhibition has previously toured the Netherlands, London, Washington DC, Berlin and Perth.

What:              Out of the Dust: Life in Afghanistan exhibition

Where:           Western Courtyard Gallery, Australian War Memorial                      
When:             On display from 3 April to 24 May 2009

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