Jakub Rybicki describes himself as a travel photographer, writer, and cyclist, but he is so much more than that. Journeying across the globe in search of stories that drill to the very core of human nature, he has a knack for catching the vibrant, tell-all moments that tend to slip by the rest of us unnoticed. Moments which are, in his own words: “stories told with vision.”
Offering photo tours and expeditions, he brings others along for the ride (and the opportunity to catch a few stories themselves), but his own images speak in a way that is impossible to replicate. His travels to Iceland, Greenland, Tibet and beyond have yielded sweeping landscapes and colorful, dynamic portraits that are hard to look away from, capturing everything from star-filled skies to giggling monks. His trip to the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan, however, explores a depth of feeling and sense of adventure all its own.
Nestled peacefully in a hotbed of conflict, the Kyrgyz and Wakhis who make the Wakhan Corridor their home are blissfully isolated from the violence surrounding them. Though illness and death are never far off due to lack of modern medicine, terror is as remote as the valley in which they live.
Jakub’s portraits from this region show a side of Afghanistan that is surprisingly relatable, giving an almost idyllic face to a part of the world almost unanimously associated with fear and brutality. They remind us that even in the most opposite cultures, people are not so very different from one another. Here, Jakub talks about his experience with the Wakhan Corridor and its inhabitants.