Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sketches in Afghanistan. Spin Cycle

The Spin Cycle this week is collages (Then and Now). Now, I'm pretty lame when it comes to this sort of thing normally but this one, for me, should have been a phone-in spin. I've got access to oodles of cool historical images and coming up with current stuff is easy. Hello, Internet? I love you.

Anyway, we have this new collection of materials coming out next week that lends itself to this week's Spin. You all are getting a sneak peak at a fabulous collection of sketches from the First Afghan War (1839-1842). The sketches were done by James Atkinson. He was a surgeon, Oriental/Persian scholar and an artist.

J. Atkinson was like the embedded reporter for that war. The sketches are from all over the region and show everything from daily Afghan life to battle scenes. 

Right off I noticed a marked similarity between these sketches and photographs of Afghanistan today.

war in context

Men dressed in camouflage toting weapons. 

That dress may look different and the weapons more sophisticated but the basic concepts are still the same.
Is it just me?



  1. Wow, REALLY similar! And yes, this completely fits since Collages was the Spin Topic last week (then) and you're turning it in now. :-)
    You're linked!

  2. Great way to show that things don't really change--they just seem to.

  3. Why would it be different ?. Same landscape and pretty much a similar reason for going there.
    Which Corp of Guides was Atkinson attached. The Guides had something of a simelar function to the Mounties in Canada, thats why you see so very few Europeans in those prints.

  4. I definitely see the similarity. Wow!

  5. SK: Pretty cool in a not really cool way, huh?

    Vandy: It was the feeling of the sketches that caught my attention. They felt so much like the photographs that I was seeing online and on TV.

    Vince: In 1838 he was appointed Superintending Surgeon of the Army of the Indus, Bengal Division. Not sure if that was a Corp of Guides or not.

  6. What a cool post! It amazes me how similar the pictures are!

  7. Nicely done, Michele. Have a wunnerful weekend. Cheers!!

  8. Yup, same as it ever was, same as it ever was, starting with Alex the Great. The 'stan isn't called the "Graveyard of Empires" for nothing. When now-retired spousal unit was in the 'stan, the local folks asked how he liked their country. They were surprised and pleased to hear that Afghanistan looks a lot like southern Arizona, but with WAY bigger mountains!

  9. Yep. Bunch of people who don't belong there, in a beautifully desolate environment. Seems pretty similar to me!