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Afghanistan photos

Fading Afghanistan is based on a collection of portraits taken by Afghan street photographers with an old-style handmade wooden box cameras. The photographers were still actively working as recently as a few years ago but have been gradually disappearing from streets due to competition from modern digital technology and the higher costs of the chemicals necessary for developing prints. The old moody technology has died out.

The collection of about 300 pictures has been gathered between 2007-2010 in two distinct parts of the country - a city of Herat in western Afghanistan and Badakhshan - north-eastern province. Most of the pictures come from private archives of photographers who are no longer able to keep their jobs. Given the technology used, the pictures will fade out over time. Likewise many people portrayed may well have passed away and just like the country itself, which is fading out, ground down by war.

Kris Lizak Khalil Ahmad Arab

Kris Lizak (Polish) and Khalil Ahmad Arab (Afghan) first time met in 2004 in the car heading to Herat from nearby villages.

For Kris it was his first visit to Afghanistan and since then he came back several times travelling by hitch-hike, foot and with friends across most of northern provinces of the country. Apart from Fading Afghanistan project, he works on developing a simple transport solution that may help people to cope with abundant snowfall in remote area of Badakhshan.

For Khalil it was his first close encounter with a foreigner. Since then he worked as a language assistant with foreign companies as well as US army involved in Afghanistan. As a member of Couch Surfing he hosted more than 20 people from all over the world helping them to better understand afghan culture. Like many of his peers he was forced to flee the country upon receiving a threatening letter from opposition forces. He is an asylum seeker in Poland at the moment.