The dying arts of kamra-e-faoree "instant" photographs and hand tinting photos in Afghanistan
May 9, 2012 10:51 AM Subscribe
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total)
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"From photography’s earliest days, enterprising practitioners realized they could take their services directly to the people. This lead to the horse-drawn wagons called “Daguerreotype Salons” and then to portable, darkroom tents that allowed wet-plate photographers to make pictures outside. As technology advanced, the tents morphed into a single apparatus that combined both camera and darkroom, which allowed photographers to work anywhere. Afghanistan is one of the last places where street vendor photographers still use such a hand-made, wooden camera called kamra-e-faoree or “instant camera.” Observing this practice lead photographer Lukas Birk & anthropologist Sean Foley to undertake the Afghan Box Camera Project.
" - Photo Technique Magazine
introduction to an interview with Lukas BirkBirk and Foley came across kamra-e-faorees on research trips in Afghanistan
, and they realized they were seeing the end of a long tradition. Operators of the "Afghan Box Cameras" were either unable to afford to continue the traditional practice, or were simply replacing the old, complex cameras with modern, digital systems
. Birk and Foley began documenting what they found, setting up the Afghan Box Camera website
, with information on the last practitioners of the art. The duo also filmed the kamra-e-faoree in action
, as well as documenting one of the last hand-tinting artists
. They plan to travel to Peshawar in Pakistan to document refugee Afghan photographers, thanks to a successful Kickstarter project
Given the relative simplicity of the system, Birk and Foley provide a guide to making your own "box camera" in 15 pages
is a related project, put together by Kris Lizak (Polish) and Khalil Ahmad Arab (Afghan) to collect photos from former Afghan street photographers. Their website currently has 143 portraits
(Flash-based image viewer).