Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kabul’s Last Photographer

Cool story by way of the Associated Press about a man named Mia Mohammed, who is one of Kabul’s last street photographers. According to the AP, photographers like Mr. Mohammed were once common sights on the street corners of the capital, earning their living by taking the tiny identification photos required by the myriad of agencies in Afghanistan’s bloated bureaucracy. Mr. Mohammed said he got into the photography business after stepping on a landmine in the mid-90s cost him his leg and his ability to work as a farmer.

But now his days as a street photographer are coming to an end – because of dwindling demand, his supplier no longer stocks the photo paper he needs for his camera. Shops using digital cameras offer the same service, but Mr. Mohammed, who is illiterate and earns just a few dollars a day through his street corner work, can’t afford a digital set-up nor does he think he has the ability to learn the technology; meaning once his meager stock of photo paper is gone, Mr. Mohammed will face an uncertain future without his camera, and Kabul will lose another link to its past.
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