• Afghan Box Camera
  • Afghan Box Camera
  • Afghan Box Camera
  • Afghan Box Camera
  • Afghan Box Camera

Afghan Box Camera

Regular price
£30.00
Sale price
£30.00
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price
per 
Regular price
£30.00
Sale price
£30.00
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price
per 
Tax included.

Afghan Box Camera documents a living form of photography in danger of disappearing forever. Afghanistan is one of the last countries where Kamra-e-faoree (‘instant camera’), has continued to be used by photographers as a way of making a living.

The images collected in Afghan Box Camera range from charming to surreal. Some are ominous – a Taliban member holding flowers and a walkie-talkie – and others wonderfully kitsch – a hand-painted collage of an Afghan exile in Peshawar next to the Pashtun actress, Yasmeen Khan. 

The book is "a social history of Afghanistan over the last seven decades. A portrait of an age, and the humble camera that recorded it" says The Guardian. Read the full review & see a sample of the images here.  


Information
  • Publisher: Dewi Lewis
  • Hardback, 176 pages
  • 120 colour / black & white photos
  • 270mm x 240mm
Reviews

Shortlisted for the 2014 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards

"A portrait of an age, and the humble camera that recorded it." - The Guardian, read full article here.

Christmas Shipping

Latest recommended order dates for Christmas 2021:

UK: 21st December
USA/Canada: 12th December
Central Europe: 15th December

EU Orders:

We know Brexit has caused uncertainty for our European customers. To lend a hand we are happy to reimburse our customers for any customs duties or taxes paid on orders arriving in Europe placed between the 1st and the 16th of December.

Shipping Terms:

We will aim to dispatch orders within 2-3 working days of purchase date but please be aware that we are a small team and delays can occur. We offer a single flat rate shipping option: tracked shipping with Royal Mail.

* For addresses in the UK, estimate shipping time is 2-3 business days.
* International shipping is available to all destinations. For all addresses outside the UK, estimate shipping time is 5-12 business days.
* ISHKAR is not responsible for customs duties or taxes on EU/international shipments, nor is it responsible for delays associated with the import process.

We offer free shipping for:

UK orders over £200
European orders over £250

Returns

 *Extended returns policy - Orders made from December the 1st can be returned until January the 5th.*

We will be happy to offer a full refund (excluding shipping) on items returned within 14 days of receipt of delivery. 

• Returned items must be unworn, unwashed and undamaged products purchased directly from ISHKAR.com.
• Proof of purchase is required.
• Photography prints are printed to order and are therefore not refundable.
• For defective, damaged or incorrect items, please notify us within five days of delivery in order to receive a refund/exchange.
• Email us at contact@ishkar.com to organise the return.  

Preorders explained

If an item is out of stock you are able to preorder the item, so that you're first in line when it's back. Once you have preordered an item the order should be shipped to you within three months. Often the order will arrive well within this three month period. Contact preorders@ishkar.com for more accurate information on when orders for this product are likely to be ready.

The Story

kamra-e-faoree

Since the early 1950s street photographers and studio portraitists in Afghanistan have been using the basic photographic process Henry Fox Talbot introduced to England in the 1840s: a big, box-shaped wooden camera and dark room in one, known as the kamra-e-faoree. Their trade survived the Soviet invasion of 1979, the civil war that followed it, Taliban rule in the 1990s and the invasion by America and the allies in 2001. Now, though, the rise of digital technology in Afghanistan kamra-e-faoree is almost over. See more here.

Before the box camera, a small number of photographers catered only to the rich and privileged. This humble apparatus democratised photography, allowing ordinary citizens to have their portraits taken relatively cheaply. The boxes were made by local carpenters – only the foreign-produced lens had to be bought – and were feats of considerable ingenuity. The lens hole and the focus plate had to be accurately aligned and the whole structure made sturdy enough to withstand extreme temperatures, continuous transportation and the constant risk of it being knocked over as it was set up on the narrow pavements of Kabul.

The camera boxes were often brightly painted or decorated with patterns and charms to attract the attention of curious passers-by. As artist Lukas Birk and Sean ethnographer Sean Foley point out in this fascinating book, every single camera was different, and dealing with their idiosyncrasies – leaking light, rickety tripod legs, the long sleeve through which the photographer had to manipulate the negative, sight unseen – was an art in itself. For several generations of Afghan children, the camera remained a thing of magically transformative power.

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