Help us raise money for a Fearless artist
Zahra is an Afghan photographer and graphic designer. In August this year, just a few weeks before the Taliban completely took over Afghanistan, Zahra fled to Marseille in France with her husband, where she is based for the moment. She has expressed that she’s not only lost her country but her subject as an artist as well. When living in Kabul, her practice involved photographing in her own environment with the intention of showing people’s lifestyles around her. Here, she was passionate about working with women, for women, and representing women from unseen corners in public spaces. When she fled Kabul, carrying only a few close possessions, leaving behind her family, she also left behind the streets, the people, the stories, that she was making her life’s work.
Within a month of moving to a new country, her bag, with her laptop, was stolen from her at a train station. Even her camera, which is now 8 years old, has given up on her. She has raised funds for a laptop. With this fundraiser, we are hoping to raise $4300 to get her a new camera. So that she can start making work again.
Zahra has been associated with Fearless since early 2020 when she was selected as one of 12 young artists from South Asia to attend our residency in Sri Lanka. This unfortunately was canceled because of the pandemic, but we stayed in touch and finally met in person this October. Here Zahra made a powerful image of herself which she pasted up on the streets of Paris, representing herself the way she wanted to be seen. Images like this need to exist in this world, replacing older ones that Western photographers have long extracted from Afghani women.
In her own words: “I live in a country which has been suffering from a protracted war for more than four decades. With art, I believe that I can display my people’s hardness through my own work in the future. Through doing photography in the streets, I communicate with new people and expand my network; I listen to others’ stories and think deeply about them; I see different reactions to a woman artist, which makes me more decisive to continue. My future long-term plan is working on my art project, and looking for opportunities for artists to present my artworks and also space for producing artworks.”