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A glimpse into Afghanistan’s past

(Picture: Explorers at the Farah Citadel, in western Afghanistan. The citadel is still standing today.)

I just stumbled upon an article at rferl.com containing a collection of pictures of Afghanistan from the 1920’s. A little journey back in time. It reminded me that I have been meaning to share other articles which have Afghanistan’s past as a subject but I kept forgetting to do it. Now I can just share the three articles together for those of you who like to go through archives and wander around in the history of Afghanistan through images or just read about the digitization of Afghan film.

1. Nancy Hatch Dupree’s Last Project: Afghan History Revealed in Photographs
This article by the Afghanistan Analysts Network takes a closer look at the collection uploaded to the archive of the Afghanistan Centre at the Kabul University (ACKU) as Nancy Hatch Dupree’s last project before she passed away in 2017.
A quote from the article: “ACKU’s photographic archive is made up of four collections: antique photographs taken by Khalilullah Enayat Siraj between 1880 and 1929; the collection of Dr William Barton, a public health consultant who studied sanitation systems in Kabul in 1965; pictures taken by Jean Willacy, who photographed life in the refugee camps in Pakistan for twenty years, beginning in 1979; and the large collection of Louis Dupree which contains pictures reflecting his wide-ranging passions: prehistoric artefacts, folk art and artisans, archaeological sites all over the country, historical events in Kabul, trips with the mujahedin, and visits to the refugees camps in Pakistan. “The photo galleries are designed,” ACKU founder, Nancy Hatch Dupree, said “as research tools to provide users with a unique way to learn about the ecology and history of Afghanistan.”

2. Afghanistan’s 7,000 lost films, hidden from the Taliban, go digital
The story of the digitization of 7000 Afghan films and the people involved in the process. A quote from the article: “For older Afghans the films would be a reminder of happier times and for the young generation, a glimpse of Afghanistan’s peaceful past that may help raise hope for its future. Arify says: “We will take the risk to go to every corner of the country. We want our children to learn how Afghans used to live.”

3. A Lifetime Ago: The Elegance Of 1920s Afghanistan
Last but not least, the article which reminded me to put together this blog post. This article is not as in dept as the previous two but it gives a glimpse into Afghanistan in the 1920’s. The article consists of a list of pictures and there is a short explanation of the pictures underneath them.


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