The Fine Arts Library recently acquired a limited edition publication by renowned Australian photojournalist Stephen Dupont. Entitled Axe Me Biggie, a rendering of the Dari expression for “take my picture”, it includes ninety black and white Polaroid portrait photographs of Afghanis taken near the central bus station in Kabul, on one day in 2006. These were selected from over 665 images in total; as part of the project each print was presented to the sitter and the negatives retained to make further reproductions. Although several of these images have been exhibited and published before, this book presents the largest survey available to date. This handmade book features images printed digitally on heavy photographic paper.
Dupont has been photographing in Afghanistan since 1993 and the portrait project compliments his more journalistic work in the area. He has photographed in many war-torn parts of the world to date. Dupont was the Peabody Museum’s Gardner fellow in 2010 and is currently photographing in Papua New Guinea for that project.