Photographer's Note

… Welcome to the Machine.

I like to say that this photo has been composed by this young afghan boy and that I don’t have much to do with the result. At first, I was planning to take a photo of this (water) mill as a simple illustration for my work here in Afghanistan. The boy was not standing next to the wheel mechanism in the beginning. I started pointing the camera on the wheel system, and as soon as he saw the camera he quickly jumped in the frame and took this pause, which he kept for long seconds, without blinking. He never smiled, and as soon as the photo was taken he went back to work as if nothing had ever happened
I like the result and the fact that I haven’t much to do with it. I think what I prefer is this human presence taking over the complex machineries. Among the different emotions I read on his face, I know one thing for sure. Standing in front of these machines, he was proud. Proud as an Afghan.

“Welcome my son, welcome to the machine!”

Was he trying to tell me he likes Pink Floyd? Naaaaah….

For those who are interested:
You find a lot of these water mills in the Taloqan plain. The wheel you see on the picture is motioned by another wheel system itself naturally motioned by water flow from irrigation canals. These constructions are entirely made by farmers themselves using most of the times recycled materials like parts of old Russian tanks, canons of heavy machine guns, old trucks traction systems, etc. You can see the wheel is putting a belt in motion which itself activates a machine on the second floor of the building. This machine is used to make flax oil (I added a photo of the machine in the workshop if ever you are interested).
I can’t believe you’ve been reading till that point… ;-)



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Additional Photos by Vincent Thomas (vthomas) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 84 W: 8 N: 106] (441)
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