A Different Afghan Girl: Behind the Lens
Sharbat Gula’s haunting eyes have pierced the souls of people around the world for three decades since her face graced the cover of National Geographic in June 1985. The renowned photo of a young Afghan woman in a refugee camp in Pakistan was captured by acclaimed photographer Steve McCurry and is commonly known as the Afghan Girl photo. Decades later, the image is iconic of the plight of women in Afghanistan and a continued testament to the power of photography.
ARZU is fortunate to have a relationship with Mr. McCurry, and we have created a limited run of ten rugs that features his photograph. While the faces of Afghan women have moved people around the world and instigated calls to action, their power can exist both as the subject of the photo and as the talent behind the lens. In partnership with the Foundation, we have piloted a program to bring women from in front of the camera to behind it to share the view of Afghanistan from their eyes.
Spearheaded by Steve’s sister Bonnie V’Soske the program selected ten women in ARZU education programs who were proficient in English and computers to learn how to operate cameras, the fundamentals of photography and edit photos in Photoshop. Mariam Alimi, a prominent female Afghan photographer led the workshops, and it was a booming success. Everyone involved was thrilled with the program, and the photographs taken by the women are stunning.
Their work will be displayed in a traveling exhibition with more details to come.
View their incredible work here.
You can learn more about Mariam on her site.