Urban metaphors

Kabul is an endless open-air construction site.

From road works to poppy palaces to private building with gigantic sculptures of pomegranates or herons on the rooftops.

Cranes, wheelbarrows, scaffoldings.

And holes and ditches and random rocks and piles of dirt and rubbles that seem to be whimsically changing position at every turn of the head.

Kabul is a city under transformation, a shifting urban landscape that seems to be constantly rethinking itself.

It is dirty, messy, chaotic. It is unsettling for its apparent lack of rationality. It defies any logic and contradicts all the rules of planning.

For city-lovers or scholars of urban stuff, Kabul can turn into a bottomless source of food for thought.

The organic, almost spontaneous growth of the city is a perfect metaphor for what seems to be the political approach of the whole country to its future.

Things advance slowly and confusingly. For every bit that is built, three or four are torn down – and the one bit that is built is obviously not the one you would have given priority to.

Afghanistan seems to mirror Kabul – the endless open-air construction site – in its way of thinking ahead and moving towards the future.


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