11 × 9 × 5 in
1 in stock
Australian National Library
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
Franklin and Marshall College
Library of Congress (LoC)
National Library of Victoria
Scripps College, Denison Library
St. Olaf College
University of California, Irvine (UCI)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Walker Art Center
If one is ignorant of why the Taliban was able to completely recapture Afghanistan in 2012, this book will provide an instant and visceral explanation. The book poetically and bluntly documents the brutality of the United States of America’s invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and the American and British government’s delivery of the entire country’s economy to arms dealers and private mercenary forces masquerading as ‘security’ and ‘development’ corporations. The callousness of the war criminals who championed this supposed War on ‘Terrorism’, such as Joe Biden and Dick Cheney, is only matched by the crass ignorance of the Trump administration, which dropped over 7,000 bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 alone, and whose 2017 Muslim Ban all but guaranteed the delivery of Afghanistan to the Taliban movement.
The photographs of war-torn Afghanistan used in this provocative accordion fold book were taken in Afghanistan from 1993 to 2012 by award-winning Australian photographer Stephen Dupont (Robert Gardener Award, W. Eugene Smith Award) and collaged by American artist Marshall Weber (Herzog August Bibliothek Artists Book Prize, National Endowment for the Arts).
This is the last available book in their Dark Illuminations series of five unique artists’ books about Afghanistan, which includes Prisoners of War, Sought Peace, The Lion of Panjshir, and Who Served. Kill Them All is the only book in the series that was also published in an inkjet edition, which was printed and bound at Momento in Sydney, Australia. All the books were designed by Weber who also bound all of the unique books. Most of these books pay homage to, and feature photographs of, Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Afghan political and military leader and popular hero best known for his successful military campaigns against both the Soviets and the Taliban. Massoud was assassinated by Al Qaeda agents in 2001 two days before the 9/11 attacks in NYC. Today his son Ahmad Massoud continues to fight against the Taliban theocracy to gain freedom for the Afghan people.
The original unique version of this book is at the Library of Congress.
Dupont chose about 300 photos from his massive archive and gave them to Weber, who then edited this and the four other books in the series. For Kill Them All, Weber choose 14 of Dupont’s photographs and constructed an accordion fold book. He then illuminated the photographs with stenciled red wax letters forming a poem written by Weber specifically for the book. Weber then meticulously brushed Sumi and other inks throughout the pages of the book (which the wax lettering resisted) merging the imagery and texts creating both an epic frieze and an intimate accordion fold book. On the other side of the book are red wax and ink paintings by Weber and a quote (written in freehand red wax crayon) derived from Buddhist teachings. The poetry offers an emotional perspective on the complicity of those who benefit from the ongoing wars in developing nations prosecuted by the United States of America.
The original unique books of the Dark Illuminations series are in collections across the United States of America:
1. Prisoners of War is in the collection of the Boston Athenaeum, MA
2. The Lion of Panjshir is in the collection of Bucknell College, Lewisburg, PA
3. Who Served, the third book in the series, is at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN,
4. Sought Peace is held by Wesleyan University, in Middletown, CT
5. Kill Them All is at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
KILL THEM ALL
Empire of tears
built on salt bricks
distilled from the sweat
of sons and daughters
who desired these oceans of suffering
who would deny love
We brought the towers down
and turned the earth to dust
all suffering is caused by our everyday actions
— Marshall Weber, Brooklyn, 2017