Glitch - a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or fault of equipment/system or a gaming practice exploiting faults in a video game's programming to achieve tasks that give them an unfair advantage. While there are already reports of increased internet shutdowns across Afghan provinces, as well as the restrictions on press freedom, access to the daily events and life in Afghanistan seem to diminish more and more, day by day, hour by hour. A loop of imposed limitations.
Through the ongoing propaganda battle, spread of fake news and delayed reporting, and bad connection our understanding and access to Afghanistan exists through an unstable glitch. Photographer Morteza Herati was still in his homeland in the summer of 2021. He now lives in France following the Taliban takeover. Based on his portable digital archive of photography and videography of Afghanistan Herati visually reconstructs the moment in which the country caught up with the glitch and the multi-layered meaning of the Afghan glitch.
Through the visual theme of the glitch, Herati explores both the political glitch within the collective experience of August 15th 2021 and the 40 years of instability in Afghanistan, as well as the technical glitch - that disables us from connecting with the Afghan people; who continue to experience digital, economic and political isolation from the rest of the world. By way of looping and distortion Herati recreates the glitch with the footage found amid his work archive, focusing on the image of the young girl and how her future specifically is affected by regime change. His work series "Afghan Glitch", curated by AVAH Collective, puts three moments of movement into an artificial digital glitch.
Morteza Herati is a documentary and street photographer born in 1985 in Herat. He ventured into photography during the Taliban's regime at his father’s photography shop Afghan Tasvir. He held his first solo exhibition at Alama Saljuqi Saloon, Herat in 2011. In recent years, his focus has been on creating several documentary and street photograph collections with an ethnographic approach.
Herati is focused on capturing the lifestyle, culture and civilization of the Afghan people, whose lives have been shaped by war and violence over several decades. The Chaar Suo photo book, published in 2018, is Herati’s long-term project, using visual storytelling to depict life and culture in Afghanistan.