Featuring works by Alec Soth, Elaine Constantine, Jamie Hawkesworth and more, the sale hopes to bring safety to the young photographers
On 15 August 2021, the Taliban took governmental control in Afghanistan. For many living within the nation, this shift jeopardised their lives. Journalists are a target for the Taliban – over 50 have reportedly been killed in targeted attacks since 2001 – and no division is made between journalism and photography. This is endangering the lives of many Afghan image-makers.
Now, eight Afghan photographers are attempting to flee their homes. These ex-refugees returned to the country in recent years, only to bear witness to the Taliban takeover. A fundraiser, organised by their teachers Stefan Dotter and Farzana Wahdiy, is fighting to help them.
In a joint collaboration with UN agencies, Dotter and Wahdiy have been organising photography workshops for the students over the last two years. “Both a very intense and rewarding experience, it allowed me to witness the struggle Afghan people face on a daily basis,” Dotter explains. “When I asked them to tell me why they wanted to become photographers, the answer was unified. They felt like the world only knows Afghanistan in the context of war and misery… They wanted to show the world their country, their culture, and their heritage.”
The fundraiser is produced in partnership with the ERE Foundation, a global organisation demanding accountability from within the fashion industry. They act as an open platform, connecting creatives for positive-impact projects. The platform has invited 100 photographers to sell prints – priced at $80 – in order to raise funds to secure the evacuation and resettlement of the eight photographers.
Isaac Huxtable joined the British Journal of Photography in October 2020, where he is currently the Editorial Assistant. Prior to this, he studied a BA in History of Art at the Courtauld Instititue of Art, London.