Dread and Dreams brings together photographs Zalmaï made between 2008 and 2013 against the backdrop of the fourteen-year US-led invasion of Afghanistan that culminated with the withdrawal of American troops. Through Zalmaï's eyes, "in black-and-white images, spare as a bone but thick with texture, we see an underrepresented Afghanistan" (Photo District News).
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Zalmaï left the country after the Soviet invasion in 1980. He traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he became a Swiss citizen. Following his passion for Photography, which he discovered very early in life, Zalmaï pursued combined studies at both the School of Photography of Lausanne and at the Professional Photography Training Center of Yverdon. In 1989, he began to work as a freelance photographer, traveling around the world from Indonesia to Egypt, from Cuba to the Central African Republic, and eventually returned to Afghanistan, where he continues documenting the ongoing war and plight of the Afghan people. Zalmaï’s work has been published in several magazines and newspapers, [including the New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, The New Yorker Magazine, Harper's Magazine , Newsweek, La Repubblica and more]. He has worked for a number of International Organizations and NGOs, [including Human Rights Watch, International Committee of the Red Cross, UN Office On Drug and Crime, and the UN Refugee Agency]. Zalmaï’s work has earned him several international awards, the latest being the Visa D'Or from the Visa Pour l'Image International Photojournalism Festival and a grant by Getty Images.
Struggle, grief, and yet the dream of normalcy — these are just some in a complex mix of emotions pictured in a new book by Afghan-born photographer Zalmaï.”,
- Time Lightbox, June 29, 2015
“Zalmaï returns to his homeland and brings a sympathetic eye to the survivors of battle crossfire and of impoverished conditions…”,
- American Photo Magazine, Best Photobooks of the Year, December 11, 2015