Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Recommended Reads

The Amazing Rise And Fall Of Century-Old Afghan Box Cameras

< 1 min

RFE/RL, 15 May 2021

Ron Synowitz’s must-read about a rapidly disappearing trade in Afghanistan: “Now, with photography digitized, the karma-e-faoree has disappeared” and also spare parts and the right type of photo paper are nowhere to be found anymore. An edict in the 1950s by Afghanistan’s king, Zahir Shah, to introduce a black-and-white photo ID card for all male citizens led to the technique being popularised throughout the country by travelling photographer-teachers.

Herati photographer Hekmatullah Arbabzadeh hopes his collection of antique cameras and darkroom equipment will one day form the heart of a photography museum in Herat.