A Collection of 1960s Photos Expose Life in Afghanistan Before the Taliban Took Over

Afghanistan, a country now drenched in war, under the control of brutal, blood-hungry ISIS/Taliban and a country that was once one of the most developed countries- now nowhere to be seen.

Filled with a rich history, a time when it was extremely well-developed and modern in that decade, the current story of Afghanistan is utterly sad. Good fortune and peace was Afghanistan’s best characteristic till terror and war embraced the borders of the country.

In 1967, Dr. Bill Podlich located in Afghanistan. His aim was to teach at the Higher Teachers College located in the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. As safe as one could imagine, Podlich took his wife, Margaret, and two teenage daughters, Jan and Peg alongside.

Dr. William Podlich (second from left) almost always had his small Olympus camera with him on his travels, and he was usually the man behind the camera. This is a rare photo that he himself appears in.

While Podlich was there, he took a number of photographs, which the family shared with the world. In those images, you are able to see a liberal land and Westernized lifestyle, smiling boys, girls learning in classrooms, women wearing short skirts on a warm day. Knowing what Afghanistan looks like today, these all seems make-believe.

Men and boys enjoying the waters of the Kabul river.

“When I look at my dad’s photos, I remember Afghanistan as a country with thousands of years of history and culture,” said Dr. Podlich’s daughter Peg, who attended the American International School of Kabul. “It has been a gut-wrenching experience to watch and hear about the profound suffering which has occurred in Afghanistan during the battles of war for nearly 40 years. Fierce and proud yet fun-loving people have been beaten down by terrible forces.” Now, the happier times live on in photos.

Here’s what Afghanistan looked like back then:

Jan Podlich during a shopping trip in Istalif.

Afghani men out for a picnic.

Students at the Higher Teachers College of Kabul, where Dr. Podlich taught for two years with UNESCO.

Peg Podlich arriving in Kabul.

Parking lot of the American International School of Kabul.

Afghan girls coming home from school. Both Afghan boys and girls were educated until the high school level.

Sisters milling the streets of Kabul.

Picnic! Under The Trees.

A boy sells balloons by the river.

Peg Podlich on a trip from Kabul to Peshawar, Pakistan.

Young students in a playground.


Art Show

An outdoor market selling a colorful variety of produce.


An Afghan boy decorating cakes.

Kabul Gorge, sometimes called Tang-i-Gharoo, connects Kabul with Jalalabad.

 All Dressed Up.

These students do their work in a shaded outdoor classroom.

Men looking over Istalif, a centuries-old center for pottery.

 Annual Exhibition Of Student Art Work.

The seasons’ change, and this winter crowd smiles for the camera.

A senior English class at the American International School of Kabul.

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All images via Dr. Bill Podlich’s collection, which is now managed by his son-in-law Clayton Esterson.

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This Artist Colorizes Old Photographs and They Look Totally Different

When we look at the old photos we notice they were all black and white grind. We ever thought we wish we could see them in colors. Or old movies that are made in the 30s-50s sometimes we have that slight imagination of how they looked in layering colors.

Since photography has always been an important part of human lives. Capturing the moment was also seen as a historical moment.

It’s a strange feeling seeing them in no colors, however, this issue is solved as this artist Sébastien de Oliveira is. Sébastien uses Photoshop to color old photographs and give them more life. The people in the photos look much more realistic and the pictures become so much more inviting. colorizing old photographs.

In one of his interviews, he stated: “I began 5 years ago to colorize some images and it became unstoppable. My three passions can combine themselves in colorization: painting, photography, and history. I spend lots of time finding images that tell a story. After spending some time on WW1 and WW2 images, now I am more interested in simple street views or peaceful ‘tranche de vie (pieces of everyday life) or colorizing portraits of actors from the golden age of Hollywood. I like to get into all the details that can be found in a photo and try to give my own interpretation

For more info: Instagram

1.  Chicago, 1941

Sebastien de Oliveira

Sebastien de Oliveira told for the interview why he colorizes photos and how he got into it: “At the beginning, it was my hobby, but it is becoming a big part of my activity now, I am a photo retoucher and I work for the fashion industry in Paris. I have a background in Fine Arts studies so I paint and I take photos. My other passion was history, so I found a way to combine my three passions in one.”

The artist shares his strugle with colorizing photos: “I have a method so all the different stages are under control and not really difficult by themselves but the most difficult is always to choose a color for people’s clothing, because of the immensity of choice.

He also mentioned tha his favorite are the street views from the ’40s and ’50s with rounded cars and people wearing costumes, as he thinks it is so cinematographic!

2. Anonymous, France, 1967.

Sebastien de Oliveira

3. Happy anonymous couple, 1948.

Sebastien de Oliveira

4. Ambridge Pennsylvania, 1941. Photo by John Vachon.

Sebastien de Oliveira

5. Rita Hayworth, eating on the beach, 1947.

Sebastien de Oliveira

6. Anonymous, 1946.

Sebastien de Oliveira

7. Bar at Central Park in New York by Marjory Collins, 1942.

Sebastien de Oliveira

8. Althea Gibson Winner Of The Wimbledon Championship With Her Compatriot Darlene Hard, 1957

Sebastien de Oliveira

9. Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) In 1956

Sebastien de Oliveira

10. Parisian Girls Enjoying The Fun Fair, Paris, 1935

Sebastien de Oliveira

11. Blue Island, Illinois. The Senise Family Going To The Movie, By Jack Delano, Feb 1943

Sebastien de Oliveira

12. Jacqueline Cochran, (1906-1980), 1939.

Sebastien de Oliveira

13. New York In 1942, By Marjory Collins

Sebastien de Oliveira

 14. Cars And Girls, 1942

Sebastien de Oliveira

15. Rainy Day In Pittsburgh, By John Vachon, June 1941

Sebastien de Oliveira

16. Saturday Afternoon In Florence, Alabama, June 1942. By Arthur Rothstein

Sebastien de Oliveira

17. Young Actresses Having A Sun Bath For A Film Promotion During The Cannes Film Festival, 1955

Sebastien de Oliveira

18. Marilyn Monroe Resting On The Set Of The Misfits, By Eve Arnold, 1960

Sebastien de Oliveira

19. Bergman, Hemphrey Bogart And Michael Curtis On The Set Of “Casablanca” 1939

Sebastien de Oliveira

20. Waiting For The Bus, 1943

Sebastien de Oliveira

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