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FROM KASHMIR TO KABUL The Photographs of John Burke and William Baker 1860-1900

Omar Khan

Mapin/Prestel/Gallimard, 2002

As recent events draw attention to the people and landscapes of Afghanistan and Pakistan, images of these war torn countries are becoming increasingly familiar. The harsh beauty of the region has been luring photographers since the Victorian age, the most famous of whom were John Burke and William Baker. Their photographs of the Great Game - a phrase coined by Rudyard Kipling for the power struggles of British and Russian imperialism - were an inspiration to the writer and remain some of the most poignant images of the British Empire.

From Kashmir to Kabul is the first book to piece together the remarkable careers of Burke and Baker. No photographers of the Raj era witnessed more wars, discoveries, news events and human diversity than did these two Irishmen. Few encountered more adverse conditions, hauling heavy equipment and glass plates over steep mountain ranges, and mixing chemicals at dangerously high altitudes, than Burke and Baker. Based on decades of research, this book chronicles their early days in Peshawar and their move to the Murree, the Himalayan hill station on the border of Kashmir.

It follows their documenting of the Afghan Wars (1878-1880), some of the earliest war photography, and their return to the plains of Lahore, where they continued to photograph the region's people and landscape. Burke and Baker's story is also the story of photography itself, a medium that was evolving at a dizzying pace - as quickly as the world they sought to capture was changing.

Reviews at the book website and where else to get it.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Peshawar and the North West Frontier

Chapter 2 The Move to Murree

Chapter 3 Kashmir: The Quest for Gold Medals

Chapter 4 The Baker & Burke 1872 Catalogue

Chapter 5 The Second Afghan War 1878-1880

Chapter 6 John Burke, Photo Artist

Chapter 7 Lahore: Witness to Empire

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