Lost in Time: Groovy Afghanistan

By

10th Jun, 2013

A cautionary tale of a vibrant and thriving culture lost in time, these photographs collected on a community Facebook page in Afghanistan are likely to leave you in disbelief. The country we’re so often shown today is comparable to a broken medieval society, but not so long ago, the barren landscape was dotted with stylish buildings, women wore pencil skirts and teenagers shopped at record stores.

As you browse the photos that capture progress, hope and that rock’n’roll spirit in the air, keep in mind the implications of what happened to this culture in just a few decades.

Above: Afghan women in the 1940s

Typical Kabuli Fashion in the 60’s- 70’s

Mohammad Qayoumi grew up in Kabul during the 60s and 70s and many of his photographs are featured on the Facebook page’s collection. This is the Afghanistan he remembers:

A half-century ago, Afghan women pursued careers in medicine; men and women mingled casually at movie theaters and university campuses in Kabul; factories in the suburbs churned out textiles and other goods. There was a tradition of law and order, and a government capable of undertaking large national infrastructure projects, like building hydropower stations and roads, albeit with outside help. Ordinary people had a sense of hope, a belief that education could open opportunities for all, a conviction that a bright future lay ahead. All that has been destroyed by three decades of war, but it was real.

This was Afghanistan…

A record store in Kabul, 1960s

Afghan performers

Ariana Afghan Airlines flight attendants

Kabul, 1960s

Kandahar Airport built in the 1960s

Foreign visitors camping in Band-e Amir 1970’s

Road tripping in Afghanistan!

Mothers and children at a city playground.

Kabul University Students at graduation 1960s

A class/meeting for women – around 1980

Classroom in Kabul, 1960s

“Biology class, Kabul University.”– In the 1950s and ’60s, women were able to pursue professional careers in fields such as medicine. Today, schools that educate women are a target for violence, even more so than five or six years ago.

Fashion designer Safia Tarzi in her Kabul studio, 1969

Textile store window display

Afghan ladies at Kabul Airport

When Afghanistan was in Vogue, December 1969..

In 1969, this was the Afghanistan that greeted the American Vogue team, when they arrived at Kabul’s International airport. There to do a fashion shoot in Kabul showcasing Afghan fashion and the local sites, the result appeared in the December 1969 issue titled “Afghan Adventure”.

Models were photographed against a backdrop of ancient ruins and thriving bazaars.

Afghan School girls

Women’s Rally 1980

Photographers featured: Mohammad Qayoumi and Farid Dastan. View more of Mohammad Qayoumi’s photostory, Once Upon a Time in Afghanitan.

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in AbandonedNostalgia

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

WandawegaTreehouse-6219-634x800

The Twelve Cozy Cabins of Christmas

Grab some hot cocao, it's time to dream about the cosiest of cabins you could be curling up in over the twelve days of Christmas. Speaking of which, have you found your nearest and dearest the perfect...

Trending 9,731
2085324598_fc0da2fbc1_o

An Illustrated Guide to the Human Race circa. 1960s

The internet is a little bit like a maze of doors, some that lead to a spiralling descent of procrastination and some, though not many, can lead to forgotten treasure. Today I picked the winning doo...

Trending 7,246
chanel5

This DIY Gift Guide Rules: Cheap, Last Minute Ideas!

So it's that time of year again when magazines do their crappy annual gift guides, "guiding" you to buy $100 cashmere socks, $75 scented candles and generally the most mundane, over-priced gift ideas ...

Trending 36,701
xavi11

The Hidden Feast in a Barcelona Factory After Dark

We left the Barcelona night behind us, disappearing through a graffiti-covered door on a bustling back street of locals going about their downtown nocturnal hustle. All we have is this calling ca...

Trending 7,956