Afghan Box Camera Project

AFGHAN BOX CAMERA PROJECT BRISTOL – MAY 18-19, 2019

Run by Iranian artist/photographer Farhad Berahman with Amy Wilson and Anna Kälin from Art Refuge UK, and using this interactive, absorbing tradition

al black and white photographic process, the workshops took place in the heart of St. Pauls, an inner city area of Bristol that is the hub of one of the most vibrant migrant communities within the city. Over the weekend we were joined by 11 children and young people from Somalia, Albania, Vietnam and Bristol.

The process of producing a portrait, from a light sensitive sheet of paper and then developing it within a darkened box, is magical and one that requires patience. One boy who was with us for the whole weekend grew in confidence. Initially he was unsure and too nervous to put his arm into the sleeve that fixed to the box and enables the photographer to move the paper into a position for an image, before placing into the developing and fixing trays. By Sunday he was demonstrating and explaining to a group of Somalian children how the camera worked. He went on to take two family portraits. On Sunday groups of children sat round and coloured pre-printed black and white images using paints and pencils. At times there were moments of silence as absorption in creating colourful images took hold.

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