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Voices on the Rise: Afghan Women Making the News in Paris

A few weeks ago, I have seen an exhibition at Dorothy’s Gallery in Paris titled: ‘Voices on the Rise : Afghan Women Making the News – Des voix qui portent : l’actualité par des femmes afghanes’. The exhibition was dedicated to Afghan women working towards the reconstruction of their country from all fields: journalism, art, government, human rights. After Canada, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia, the exhibition continued its international tour to Paris. It was very interesting to see how these Afghan women have found their voices again thanks to their courage, determination and profession. The press release didn’t lie about it.

Photos, paintings, sculptures and drawings created for this exhibition as well as afghan jewelry were presented on the walls and on display shelves. A tent in the gallery’s garden was decorated with additional afghan atmosphere, and in the main room we could watch a documentary about Afghanistan. Some of the women of the photos have been assassinated because they dared speak out loud and didn’t fear retaliation; others had to fight hard to get the right to work and they won. Every photo was giving a lesson in courage, these women had to fight everyday of their life for their freedom. For simply having the right to go to school, to work, to talk in public, and have their voice heard. An excellent way to put things in perspective…

This is the kind of exhibition we need. Dorothy Polley did a great job and I was glad I could take some time to see it. These great photos (taken by Leslie Knott, Farzana Wahidy, Elise Jacob…) show to people who think Afghanistan is only about Taliban and troops, that women are very active and fight for their rights. Talking about incredible Afghan women, I would like to bring your attention on Malalai Joya, an Afghan politician, author of ‘A Woman Among Warlords’. I already mentioned her in: International Women’s Day: Ordinary Extraordinary Women (cross posted on the Sama Gazette: read post + comments). Joya is often called ‘the bravest woman in Afghanistan’ but she is definitely not the only one; she is also compared to Aung San Suu Kyi. Don’t miss Malalai Joya’s memoir: ‘Raising My Voice’.

Voices on the Rise: Afghan Women Making the News. So true. Support them!

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