Imagine Afghanistan prior to the terror. In 1963, Blanc set out for India by car, travelling with two friends. One of the many countries they crossed was Afghanistan: an exotic, unfamiliar land which they began to explore. Visiting villages, towns, theatres, bars and markets, Blanc portrayed people and landscapes in equal measure. His black-and-white photographs bear testimony to a world that has long ceased to exist.
To someone from the Western world, the pictures seem curiously familiar yet disturbingly different from everything we generally think of in relation to Afghanistan. Blanc shows removed dream places, pristine landscapes, moving portraits and intimate moments. His photography is all the more potent in hindsight, as we know the country and its people he depicts had their hopes for the future cruelly dashed only a short while later.