August 30, 2013

Kickstarter | Medium

Frame By Frame, a documentary that originated as a Kickstarter project, aimed to raise $40,000 by Aug. 28. As of today, it has raised $70,301.

The documentary, which started production last year, follows four Afghans who talk about how photojournalism in Afghanistan has changed throughout the years, and where it’s headed. The Frame by Frame Kickstarter page explains:

In 1996, the Taliban banned photography in Afghanistan. Taking a photo was considered a crime. When the regime was removed from Kabul in 2001, their suppression of free speech and press disappeared. Since then, photography has become an outlet for Afghans determined to show the hidden stories of their country.

The money will enable creators Mo Scarpelli and Alexandria Bombach to return to Kabul this fall and finish producing the documentary.

On Medium, Emily Holdman talked with Scarpelli about the documentary and how Afghans have become more open to photojournalism in recent years:

We’ve gathered from the photographers we’re following that Afghans for the most part did not emphatically embrace photography immediately after the Taliban was removed from power. It has taken some time for people to get used to photographs; the art had to sort of edged its way back into society.

Afghans can be deeply private, and while the history of photography in Afghanistan is quite strong, there is still a resistance to documentary photography. Some of our characters say Afghans remain suspicious or feel threatened by photographers shooting in public.

That said, we couldn’t go anywhere in Kabul without hearing that cheesy camera shutter noise as some teenage boy on the street snapped a shot of us with his cell phone. And photographs now line the streets — advertisements for toothpaste, smiling faces on billboards about university courses, portraits wheat-pasted as street art to the side of compound walls. Photography is definitely a pervasive part of urban life now, though it’s taking the public some time to get used to it.

You can read the full interview here.

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Mallary Tenore Tarpley is a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of Communication and the associate director of UT’s Knight…
Mallary Tenore Tarpley

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