Bearing witness

New documentary highlights the work of Afghan photojournalist Farzana Wahidy

A new documentary making the festival rounds, Frame by Frame, includes interviews with Farzana Wahidy — one of the only professional female photojournalists in Afghanistan. Wahidy, who is married to Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Massoud Houssaini, finds she is able to get unique access to women and girls, whose lives tend to be sequestered and stories typically underrepresented. That included photographing a girl who was doused in gasoline by her father-in-law and set alight.

While a total photography ban — from 1996 to 2001 — was lifted after the American invasion, there is an anxiety that the withdrawal of American troops will see a resurgence of the Taliban, and that press freedoms will once again be severely curbed.

“This is the main time for Afghan photographers to really stand up and still keep Afghanistan on the news and not let it forget,” says Wahidy. “I think it is the responsibility of all photographers and journalists in Afghanistan not to let whatever happened during the Taliban, or civil war, to happen again.”

“It may be difficult but I will find ways,” she says. “I will always stand for what I believe.”

Read the full story at Mother Jones.


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