What began in the early 1990s as a series of news assignments, evolved into a personal project and close collaboration between Robert Knoth and Antoinette 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. These stories are easily overlooked or bypassed as too complex for mainstream media. For De Jong and Knoth however, they were key components of their in-depth investigation.

Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong documented the trails of Afghan heroin for two decades, covering the rise of the Taliban, the American intervention after September 9/11 and the recent surge in opium production. Poppy uncovers the relationship between ‘far-away’ places such as Kandahar, Bishkek and Tirana, and the day-to-day events in our own neighbourhoods, such as street crime, drug addiction and even terrorism. By connecting the dots, Knoth and De Jong disclose the ever more complex patterns of our globalised world.

Authors

Robert Knoth (Rotterdam, 1963) is an internationally renowned documentary photographer. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines worldwide. His clients include The Guardian (UK); NRC Handelsblad (NL), New York Times (USA) and Greenpeace.

website

LinkedIn

Antoinette de Jong (Tilburg, 1964) is a writer, photographer and broadcaster, based in the Netherlands. Her work includes in depth reporting and documentaries for VPRO and Radio Netherlands World Service and the BBC World Service.She has worked in many conflict areas including Somalia, Iraq, Former Yugoslavia, and has covered developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan for almost two decades.

Platforms

Poppy field, Afghanistan
Poppy field, Afghanistan
© Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
Afghanistan, 1993 - 1996
Afghanistan, 1993 - 1996
© Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
ISHKASHEM, BADAKSHAN, AFGHANISTAN: JUNE 2004: School children standing in line for the festivities for
ISHKASHEM, BADAKSHAN, AFGHANISTAN: JUNE 2004: School children standing in line for the festivities for "National Teachers Day".
© Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
Albania, 2008. Albanian organised crime groups are hybrid organisations.
Albania, 2008. Albanian organised crime groups are hybrid organisations.
© Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
© Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
OSH, 2009. An Uzbek girl working as a prostitute in Jetigen Sauna.
OSH, 2009. An Uzbek girl working as a prostitute in Jetigen Sauna.
© Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
CHERNIGEV, UKRAINE - AUGUST 2007: Andrei Kozinec (27) with his girlfriend Irina Lipanova (18). Andrei is HIV postive, Irina is not infected.
CHERNIGEV, UKRAINE - AUGUST 2007: Andrei Kozinec (27) with his girlfriend Irina Lipanova (18). Andrei is HIV postive, Irina is not infected.
© Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
ODESSA, UKRAINE – AUGUST 2007: The Ibiza nightclub along the Arcadia Boulevard, the busiest entertainment area in Odessa.
ODESSA, UKRAINE – AUGUST 2007: The Ibiza nightclub along the Arcadia Boulevard, the busiest entertainment area in Odessa.
© Robert Knoth
Poppy at c/o Berlin, July 2016
Poppy at c/o Berlin, July 2016
© Laura Droße
Poppy at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, 2012
Poppy at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, 2012
Poppy at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, 2012
Poppy at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, 2012
Poppy at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, 2012
Poppy at Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, 2012
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
© Michal Przezdzik
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
© Michal Przezdzik
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
© Michal Przezdzik
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
© Michal Przezdzik
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
© Michal Przezdzik
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
Poppy at Fotofestiwal Warsaw, June 2016
© Michal Przezdzik

Exhibition

As Poppy evolved to illuminate the network of heroin’s cultivation and distribution across the globe, it outgrew conventional and short form journalistic formats – necessitating its own, more immersive experience. The four screen multimedia installation created by Peter Claassen, who was responsible for the concept and the editing, and the soundscape created by Mark Glynne, combines still and moving imagery, sound bites from radio reports, quotes originating from official reports and news, and excerpt from youtube, and thus creating a cinematic experience for the visitor.

  • 10.02.201726.02.2017Tokyo Metropolitan Museum (JP) (part of the Yebisu Festival 2017)

    16.07.201625.09.2016C/O Berlin (GER)

    14.05.201614.06.2016Photofestival Warsaw (POL)

    23.04.201603.05.2016Preview at Photofestival Krakow (POL)

    24.10.201520.12.2015Forum für Fotografie, Cologne (GER)

    29.08.201422.02.2015Part of On the Move, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL)

    29.08.201426.10.2016Australian Center for Photography, Sydney (AU)

    24.10.201307.12.2014Beijing World Art Museum (Points on the Map), Beijing (CH)

    23.03.201302.06.2013MUDAM + European Month of Photography, Luxemburg (LUX)

    25.04.201309.06.2013Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam (NL)

  • Robert Knoth (Artist)
    Antoinette de Jong (Artist)

Spread 'Poppy' - the book
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
© Design: Kummer & Herrman
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
© Design: Kummer & Herrman
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
© Design: Kummer & Herrman
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
© Design: Kummer & Herrman
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
Spread 'Poppy' - the book
© Design: Kummer & Herrman

Book

Jeroen Kummer and Arthur Hermann designed the 492 pages thick book by weaving images and text together, not pulled back by traditionally views into a raw stream of stories shaking the readers mind. Connecting the dots between supply and demand, between us standing here in Europe and the locations and conflicts that can seem so distant on news reports, the complexity and global scale of Poppy mean that it is a story which is not simple to tell, but one that matters to us all. The publication is a richly illustrated journey—supplemented by facts, stories, and quotations.

Award

Selection '150 Greatest Photobooks of All Time', Source Photographic Review (2016)

  • Author: Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
    Texts by: Antoinette de Jong
    Design: Kummer&Herrman
    Pages: 492 (384 pages )
    Cover: Hard cover
    Size: 170 x 240 mm
    Paper: Book Paper 120 g/m2, Hello Gloss 100 g/m2
    Colour: Colour, black&white
    Language: English
    Production: Paradox
    Publisher: YdocPublishing, Hatje Cantz Verlag
    Launch: 2012
    ISBN: 978-3-7757-3337-3

News

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In the media

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  • Blume des Bösen

    Gunda Schwantje, Der Spiegel Read more »
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