On September 5, 2001, the Taliban set fire to prints from the Afghan Film Archive, Afghanistan’s national film institute. The bonfire reportedly burned for 15 days, but thankfully, the Taliban only destroyed copies—leaving the negatives untouched.
This event was an impetus for both Mariam Ghani’s essay in Creative Time Reports and Francis Alÿs’s film REEL/UNREEL, and both artists presented at dOCUMENTA(13) in Kabul. Alÿs’s film can currently be seen in New York at David Zwirner Gallery.
If you aren’t in New York, you can also watch Alys’s film online.