The Gacilly. Final applause of the 19th edition of the Photography Festival. Sport

Away from the flamboyant and colorful images of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran, Paul Almasy’s exhibition is a black and white documentary. The representative of the AKG Images agency in Berlin introduced this author that he took photographs with a look that he wanted to be neutral. In the 1960s, he began working for the United Nations, for the WHO, and then for Unicef. These big organizations sent it around the world. He had to bring information about the health situation, education.

Visions of Afghanistan between 1960 and 1970

Paul Almasy has visited this country several times. Two important reports have been found in the Agency files. One was about education, the 2me on the modernization of the country (in the Western sense of the term). The author mentions the efforts made in the education of boys and girls since 1959. Girls in those years could also remove the veil. Many photos show pupils, students of both sexes. Girls from urban and middle-class areas were better educated than those from rural areas.

A country in which Western countries and Japan have invested

Afghanistan was a parliamentary monarchy and voted for a constitution in 1964. Afghanistan has always been invaded and had bad relations with the UK. The king wanted to accompany the modernization of his country. He and his government worked with the major powers. A highway connected Kabul with Russia. Many countries have taken an interest in this territory: the United States has built a highway, Austria has founded a music school, Germany an art school. Japan is also investing. Paul Almasy photographed all these contributions that created a kind of telescope.

Two cultural modes coexist

In the paintings scenes of life are superimposed where tradition and modernity go hand in hand: women dressed in the West walk through a square where men and women keep their traditional clothes. Boys and girls study side by side. The impact of Westerners is also visible, sometimes very fleetingly. your exposure v travel in an enlightened realm, if it is a real documentary, it also takes on the appearance of humanistic photography.

Until Sunday, October 2, 2023, Visions of the Photography Festival of the East in The Gacilly (Morbihan). Free.

Jamie Franklin

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