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In a world transformed by technology, these workers hold on to near-obsolete jobs

From a book binder in Bulgaria to a key maker in Beijing to gas lamp lighters in London, people whose jobs have become increasingly rare in the digital age are the focus of “The Disappearing Jobs of Yesterday,” a series by more than 50 photographers at Agence France-Presse. The photographers also turn the lens on their own profession in the era of the smartphone. Hari Sreenivasan reports.

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  • ERIC BADARAT:

    The idea was to show the jobs that have been part of our lives for decades and are slowly disappearing around the world.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    Eric Badarat is AFP's photo editor for North America.

  • ERIC BADARAT:

    The first idea originally was to find jobs that are disappearing because of the Internet revolution because of the digital revolution. But then there were so many ideas and so many nice portraits coming that we kind of broadened a little bit the idea and maybe just simple, simply as disappearing jobs…

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    AFP's photographers captured a wide range of jobs — from one of the last gas lamp lighters in London,to a bookbinder in Bulgaria, a key maker on the streets of Beijing and a sewing machine repairman in Belgrade.

    The project even highlighted photographers themselves.

  • ERIC BADARAT:

    The film photography, the street portrait photographers on touristy places and everything — iPhone and selfies are killing those jobs. So it was kind of an immediate reflex for photographers to talk about- photographers.

  • HARI SREENIVASAN:

    And in Rio, Brazil, there is at least one video rental store remaining.

  • ERIC BADARAT:

    it's true that idea that DVD or video rental is totally disappearing. It was a big thing in the 90s and now totally gone. When you have a frame that is consistent everywhere in the world you can show some sort of a moment in life everywhere the same way and people buy that a lot. They are very interested.

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