ROBERT KNOTH & ANTOINETTE DE JONG Poppy | Trails of Afghan Heroin

ROBERT KNOTH & ANTOINETTE DE JONG | Poppy Trails of Afghan Heroin

30 August – 26 October 2014 

From the bright flower fields in Afghanistan to the concrete jungle of London, Poppy traces the international path of heroin production and distribution. Picturing the dark and complex side of globalisation, Poppy exposes the contexts and consequences of heroin’s journey from East to West, along with the along with the addictions, armed conflicts, corruption, crime and poverty it leaves in its wake. The multi-media installation and the book embody two decades worth of reporting from internationally renowned journalist Antoinette de Jong and photographer Robert Knoth. 

What began in the early 1990s as a series of news assignments, evolved into a personal project and close collaboration between Knoth and de Jong. Their journey begins in Afghanistan, tracks through Central Asia, the Balkans, Dubai, Somalia and ends in London. This modern trade route, a dark version of the ancient Silk Road, comes alive through the voices, faces and stories of farmers, soldiers, smugglers, prisoners, bankers, prostitutes, addicts and border guards. 

Poppy has received a number of awards including the Canon Zilveren Camera Award and a Gold Medal Deutscher Fotobuchpreis. Poppy has also been awarded Honourable Mention in the Lens Culture Award and the Kees Scherer Award for best photo book and was a finalist for the Dutch Doc Award and at the New York Photo Festival Mulitmedia. 

Produced by Paradox (Edam, The Netherlands) 

Project funders: Prins Bernhard Culture Fund, Foundation Democracy & Media, Foundation Sem Presser Archive, SNS REAAL Fund, VSB Fund, AFEW, Mondriaan Fund, NCDO