Luis Berrios Negron | The Rebirth of Kabul
Green. The color, often employed by writers and artists as a symbol of hope, is now synonymous with everything eco. In Afghanistan, green also connotes rebirth. Considering the nation's role in the global geopolitical upheaval during the early years of this millennium, a need for an Afghan rebirth is certainly understandable. Puerto Rican architect Luis Berrios Negron went to Kabul to contribute.
Negron’s collaborative architectural performance with local Afghans is as poetic as it is powerful. His canvas? A billboard and a swimming pool. The covering with green cloth of an empty Kabul swimming pool – built by the Soviets during their imperialist occupation of the country, and later used by the Taliban to conduct clandestine executions — is an artistic phoenix that rises from these bleaker moments of Afghanistan’s history.
The project’s ability to transform places and objects of inhumanity into a message of hopeful rebirth, is also evident through the draping of a Kabul billboard. Likened by Negron in an interview as the city’s Hollywood sign, the easily visible, yet bare billboard was also covered in green. The stones used to hold the fabric in place were previously used to kill women who had violated the strict Taliban code.
Photos Copyright © 2007 Massoud Hosseini