An incredible short video put together by the Afghan Box Camera Project features the work of Mr. Qalam Nabi, one of two final remaining wooden box photographers remaining in operation in Kabul, Afghanistan. While the art of wooden camera photography is indeed alive in Afghanistan, it is not necessarily well, as the title indicates; that said, the art remains one that is seldom seen anywhere else on the planet.
Referred to locally as the kamra-e-faouri, the wooden camera saw its heyday in the late 19th century before losing out to handheld cameras in the early 1920s. The video shows permits the viewer to experience a day in the life of Mr. Nabi as he takes passport pictures for people with his decrepit, albeit a lovingly cherished setup. With a delicate hand and precise, articulated movements, Mr. Nabi shares his art – and his survival – with us in modern-day Kabul, Afghanistan.