Documentation of a life lost?

Afghanistan’s Ambassador Youssof Ghafoorzai (Photo: Pål Arne Kvalnes)

27 Afghan photographers have documented life in their country before the takeover by Taliban 15 August 2021.  

The exhibition “Where there is a War, there is still Life” opened in P 46 (Pilestredet) at OsloMet Wednesday 25 August with around 50 persons present. 

The local organizer, Afghan Photographers Association (APA) was not there. Many of the photographers had chosen to be anonymous due to the current situation of threat to their lives.– Most of them are young, from different parts of the country and six of them are women. An international professional jury selected 46 photos from more than 600 images.  

The idea was conceived at the Afghan embassy in Norway. Hasina Shirzad – also Master student of journalism studies at OsloMet – opened the program. In her opening address, Profesor Emerita Elisabeth Eide (JMIC) said that the exhibition is a powerful message of a world which cannot survive in the same way, perhaps showing what is at stake if a peaceful, just and rights-based solution is not found.  

State Secretary Jens Frølich Holte opened the exhibition. He was followed by the Afghan Ambassador Youssof Ghafoorzai, OsloMet Rector Nina Waaler and Knut Olav Åmås from Fritt Ord Foundation. “Kjempeviseslåtten», composed by Harald Sæverud, originally dedicated to the Norwegian resistance during WW II, performed by pianist Svein Amund Skara concluded the program.  

Kjersti binh Hegna curated the exhibition, which has been made possible by support from the Embassy of Afghanistan in Norway, the Norwegian embassy in Afghanistan, Fritt Ord Foundation, United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and OsloMet.  

The exhibition will be shown in the lobby of P 46 in OsloMet at least until 8 September. A digital version will be produced, while a physical version hopefully will be shown in Kabul and at the UN head quarters in New York later in the autumn. A recorded streaming of the opening can be found here: 

Read about the exhibition and see more photos:–malet-er-a-vise-hva-afghanistan-er-og-hva-vi-risikerer-a-miste-na/475961

Many came to see the exhibition in Pilestredet 46 (Photo: Pål Arne Kvalnes)

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