FUNDRAISER FOR AFGHANISTAN
Together with photographer ERE Foundation and activist Sabrina Herzog I have united the work of 100 engaged photographers around a print sale, dedicated to the evacuation and resettlement of my 8 Afghan photography students. This fundraiser by photographers for photographers will enable 8 Afghan photography students to establish a life and profession outside of Afghanistan, while developing their photographic practice through future workshops.
Get your print at ere.earth/gallery.
All prints are available at 80€ unlimited for 2 weeks // printed on 24x30cm with the generous support of Art Lab by Sheriff Paris
The fundraiser will close on October 5th 2021.
Read my letter below the gallery.
Mathilde Agius • Danielle Alprin • Philippe Arlt • Alina Asmus • David Avazzadeh • Tess Ayano • David Baum • Edgar Berg • Kristin Bethge • Anthony Blasko • Jeff Boudreau • Anna Breit • Brendan George Ko • Kira Bunse • Juliette Cassidy • Kevin Castanheira • Ali Kate Cherkis • Lee John Clayton • Lauren Coleman • Volker Conradus • Elaine Constatine • Laura Jane Coulson • Elena Cremona • Matthieu Croizier • Jack Davison • Katrien De Blauwer • Quentin De Briey • Théo De Gueltzl • Max Dorsogna • Stefan Dotter • Laurence Ellis • Brad Elterman • Phil Engelhardt • Daniel Etter • Peter Fisher • Jermaine Francis • Maria Johanna Fritz • Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek • Gavin Green • Luca Grottoli • Marie Haefner • Amanda Hakan • Estelle Hanania • Jamie Hawkesworth • Alyssa Heuze • Hill & Aubrey • Alex Huanfa Cheng • Larissa Hofmann • Carlijn Jacobs • Jesse John Jenkins • Tom Johnson • Jack Johnstone • Kinga Katanics • Marc Krause • Adam Kremer • Dylan Kronen • Brendan George Ko • Charlotte Lapalus • Robbie Lawrence • Chloe Le Drezen • Massimo Leardini • Lucas Lehmann • Crista Leonard • Wai Lin Tse • Thomas Lohr • Maddy Minnis • Joachim Müller-Ruchholz • Nikki McClarron • Katsu Naito • Hans Neumann • Ina Niehoff • Anouk Nitsche • Zhenya Posternak • Remi Pujol• Mafalda Rakos • Jody Rogac • Alice Schillaci • Yannick Schuette • Sednaoui Stephane • Maximilian Semlinger • Emine Sevim-Zendegi • Laila Sieber • Flavia Sistiaga • Alec Soth • Mika Sperling • Charlotte Stouvenot • Julien T Hamon • Tajan Sophie • Marius Uhlig • Jonas Unger • Cyrille de Vignemont • Massimo Vitali • Alexandra Von Fuerst • Farzana Wahidy • Wrey Eddie • Watkins CT
For the past two and a half years the Afghan photographer Farzana Wahidy, myself and a group of friends were working together on a joint mission in collaboration with UN agencies to hold photography workshops for a group of 8 ex-refugees who had recently returned to Afghanistan. Both a very intense and rewarding experience, it allowed me to witness the struggle Afghan people face on a daily basis, while being myself completely absorbed by the immense progress they were making over a short period of time.
As you of course know, the situation has turned especially dark in the past weeks and together with friends, colleagues and generous institutions our utmost priority over the last weeks has been to find an opportunity for the students to leave the country. The eight students part of the photography programme are currently in danger for the following reasons:
- As many in Afghanistan's Hazara Shiite community, the families of these young people suffered a campaign of persecution during the civil war of the 1990s and the first Taliban regime that forced them to flee to Iran. After the Taliban was overthrown in 2001, they returned to Afghanistan, believing they were safe. However, as we know from August 15th, the Taliban took over the government in the country so their lives are in danger once again;
- In addition to the Taliban, the Korashan Islamic State (also known as ISIS-K) sees Shiism as a heresy to Islam, and its attacks against the Hazara minority in particular have already killed hundreds, adding to the terror in the lives of an already vulnerable population.
- Another downside is that these photography students are categorised by extremist groups in the same way as journalist. As reported by human rights groups there is a growing threat to journalists in Afghanistan, at least 11 journalists were killed in targeted attacks in 2020 according to Amnesty International. Since 2001, more than 50 journalists have been killed in Afghanistan, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
- 6 people in the group are women. The threat of violence has always been a harsh reality for Afghan women but the impositions made by the Taliban government, already demonstrated by actions like the announcement of a full men's interim cabinet or banning certain sports for women, go beyond violence to an exclusion from life in society.
NGOs, government authorities from third-party countries, individuals concerned by the cause and myself have joined forces to support their emergency humanitarian visa applications in order to secure their safety and wellbeing. While the visas are currently in the process of being granted by a benevolent country, the students need their travel expenses covered (e.g. plane tickets, PCR tests, transportation, etc) as well financial support for the first 6 months to assure their stability and independence in a new country. In the context of this collective effort, the fundraiser will enable the students to establish a life and profession outside of Afghanistan, while developing their photographic practice with the help of other photographers.
All donations received will be managed by the ERE Foundation and distributed to the NGOs responsible for their resettlement in the new country. All donations will be distributed equally to the young photographers as soon as they arrive in their new home country.
While we are in advanced discussions with NGOs in their country of resettlement at this time for security reasons we will only share details on the student’s resettlement once they have safely reached their destination country.
You are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns or if you can offer any other support.
It is very important for us to be 100% transparent about where the funds are going and how they will help. Also what happens to the funds if we are not able to evacuate the students. In this case we would like to donate the funds to a non-profit, non-political organisation that supports photographers in Afghanistan through education, exhibitions, legal support, protection and much more. In the case that we raise more funds than necessary for the resettlement of the students, we are creating a trust fund for their future, which they can be used for necessary equipment, education & basic needs.
Thank you in advance for any help you can give these young people. I know each and every one of them will be immensely grateful for even the smallest donation.
While for security reasons we are unable to disclose the real identities of our students, thank you for your understating.