Farzana Wahidy

Farzana Wahidy is an award-winning Afghan documentary photographer and the first woman photographer in Afghanistan to work with international media agencies. Wahidy was born in Kandahar and moved to Kabul where attended school during the Afghan civil war and continued her education underground during the Taliban regime. After high school, Wahidy enrolled in a two-year program with AINA Photojournalism Institute, and in 2004, she began working as a photographer for Agence France Presse and later joined the Associated Press. Wahidy has received numerous awards and grants from organizations such as the Open Society Institute, National Geographic All Roads Film and Photography Program, the University of Missouri, and Mountain Film. In 2016 Wahidy received the Premier’s Award for Creative Arts and Design. Her work has also been published in international magazines and newspapers and she has completed numerous assignments for NGOs and exhibited internationally. In 2014, Wahidy created a project to train Afghan photographers, to review copyright law, and to research the history of photography in Afghanistan. In 2016 she established the Afghanistan Photographers Association. Wahidy is currently teaching photography at Bennington College as a visiting faculty member. Wahidy said, “For many years I accepted that stories about Afghan women only showed them from one perspective – the perspective of foreign photographers. Through my own work, I have come to realize that it’s critical to show a broader view of Afghan women, especially the unseen stories of their resistance and accomplishments.” Wahidy continued, “What most people call courage for me is simply my everyday life. To be honored for this work means a great deal to me, because we have a long way to go to bring an Afghan perspective to the world.”

IWMF Awards
Reporting Locations