In Search of the Truth: Afghanistan

A Cause Collective project
Ryan Alexiev | Jim Ricks |Hank Willis Thomas
10th – 23rd February | Opening: 13th February at 6pm
The Library Project, 4 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

The Library Project presents In Search of the Truth: Afghanistan, an exhibition of photographs and videos documenting an international public art project.

The exhibition is the first of the events programmed at The Library Project in 2014, aptly engaging with the PhotoIreland Festival 2014 theme: Truths, Facts, Fictions, Lies.
More info about the festival at

What do ordinary Afghans think about life, about their country, about their society? And what about the things that are most important to them? What do Afghans think about… the Truth?
The Truth Booth, a giant inflatable speech bubble and portable video recording booth, toured Afghanistan collecting over 600 greatly diverse video portraits of the Afghan people. This is a Cause Collective project supported by Free Press Unlimited, and in cooperation with the Afghan 1TV. It has travelled to more than 10 locations in Bamyan, Mazar-i-Sharif, Harat, and Kabul for 3 weeks during August and September.

In the past ten years, countless people have paraded their opinions about the state of Afghanistan – presidents, politicians, journalists, generals, aid workers and advisers, experts who know all about the country and those who know very little. In the cacophony of views and opinions expressed about the country, the voices of ordinary Afghan citizens themselves have been relatively absent. In Search of the Truth: Afghanistan is a unique project that invited the public in Afghanistan to speak their minds and hearts, and to fill a giant text balloon with their voices through a video camera. “The Truth is…”

The centrepiece of the project is the Truth Booth, an installation consisting of a giant inflatable “balloon” shaped like a speech bubble with the word TRUTH (“Haqeqat” in the Dari) printed on the side. The interior of the Truth Booth acts much like a photo booth, but with a video camera. Seated inside, visitors have recorded their thoughts and opinions in a two-minute video in response to the statement: “The truth is…”

The Truth Booth has captured video portraits and views from around Afghanistan. The 600+ responses are being subtitled and edited into a video artwork. Samples can be seen on The Truth Booth’s blog:

Additionally a selection of videos will be broadcast nationally on the Afghan 1TV, enabling Afghans to hear what concerns their fellow Afghans around the country.

Jim Ricks
The Library Project