Beauty Amid War

Afghanistan is a historic and diverse country with a rich culture. It has been a connecting point of major civilizations in the history of the world. Each province of Afghanistan has a certain definition of its people’s clothing and physiognomy, which reflects the geographical and inhabitance transformation as well as social and political identity of groups and individuals. Clothing is defined differently in each province of Afghanistan and people have different clothing based on which race, tribe or language they tie to the scent of ancient east and major civilizations over the history, in Afghanistan, has enormously influenced the live, faces and way of dressing of people and groups’ behaviors.

Said that, this transformation has affected women of Afghanistan equally as men, while their lives, way of dressing – and more importantly – the beauty of Afghan women hasn’t been showcased to the world in a major way. It has gotten even more extreme in the recent history of Afghanistan - after the start civil wars. It’s mostly talked and shown the dark side of Afghanistan and Afghan women. Mostly, their abilities are overlooked and their voices go unheard, which make people see only the one side of Afghan women – the dark side. The challenges that Afghan women have gone through over the history have been very different and arguably harder than anywhere else in the world. However, amid all these miseries, there is another side of Afghanistan, which merely people see – the bright side of Afghanistan - the beauty amid war.

In this photo collection, which will be prepared as a photobook, different faces of Afghan women, such as Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Qizilbashes, and Uzbeks will stand in front of camera, with their exclusive clothing. Their beauty and feminity will be showcased and framed into a cover of diverse culture and traditions of Afghanistan. These faces with their unique looks, besides being a break of taboos and cliché look of Afghan women with burqa, will be captured with a different clothing/look, with respect to their traditions, to show the diverse culture and beauty of Afghan women and Afghan culture. The calm, shy, coquetry, and feminine looks and hidden beauties of Afghan women will be framed and placed in order into the photo collection and the photobook. In addition, the designs of their clothes and details such as type of textiles and hand-sewed clothes of Afghan women will be a wake-up call to the forgotten traditions and culture of Afghanistan. Using colors and the power of looks, this photo collection will try to highlight the beauty of femininity, and in specific, Afghan women, and reflect on different face of Afghan women usually seen as weak and victim. The beauty, power and resilience of Afghan women will be displayed. The Beauty amid War Photo collection will stage and capture the pictures of Afghan women in different places in accordance to their history and culture – to show their power and resilience. In the meantime, it will deliver the message to all Afghan women to think freely, say NO to burqa, and show their faces. This photo collection will not only be a critic on the male dominance in Afghan society and cliché way of thinking that Afghan women are weak, it will also remind people of the forgotten rich culture and clothing style of
Afghan women.

For instance, it will display the textiles, stitchery, and clothing designs of Afghan women from each province. This photo collection and the photobook will also dig into the history and answer to the questions like, what has been the reason of such specific clothing in each area and what highlights their traditions and culture. Moreover, it will unlock the critical thinking of people to embrace the diversity, as pictures of women from different races, ethnicities and tribes, with different clothing, will be placed in order, in the photobook. This collection will stage different groups of women in different provinces of Afghanistan.

Every small details will be paid attention to, and each photo will express a specific scenario of Afghan women and Afghan culture. I always dreamed to capture different photos from women in Afghanistan. To show my artistic and often challenging journey exploring gender and sociological perspectives of Afghan society. Women have always been at the center of my work. Here I capture and redefine the Afghan women by showing their beauty, their femininity and hopes. I show that real peace comes from embracing this diversity and by respecting their differences. The world is more beautiful when differences are appreciated, imposed limitations are broken and women are not seen as weak.

Here, Beauty and Peace are put together : Peace is always Beautiful.

see more