Accepted paper:

Afghan Immigrant Female Photographers in Search of Their Identity


Fatemeh Sadrnabavi (Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran)

Paper short abstract:

The majority of Afghan immigrants in Iran have been settling in different regions. The goal of this study is to identify the community of Afghan female photographers who have to face many obstacles to become and remain an artist.

Paper long abstract:

Iran is one of the destination countries for Afghan immigrants. Due to political crises and wars, a huge number of Afghan refugees immigrated to Iran after the 1970s. Mashhad is one of the cities that has accepted the majority of Afghan immigrants. About 70% of Immigrants have settled in a region called Golshahr, one of the suburban and poor regions in Mashhad. The majority of immigrants in Golshahr suffer a very low economical and social status. But the existence of the art center and the performance of variety of activities in the artistic and cultural centers of this region represent a new generation who seeks to be known. Through education, some of Afghan women and girls of Golshahr have managed to escape from the isolation generated by their home and host community. Some of them have also initiated doing artworks. Photography, painting, and teaching them at Golshahr Art center have become popular amongst girls and encouraged them to be more active in society, especially in the artistic community. I am looking for the recognition of the community of Afghan female artists, especially photographers of the mentioned region, due to the fact that undoubtedly the works of these young artists can reflect their concern for being noticed, can express their identity, or an attempt to identify the marginalized community.They have to go through the breathtaking barriers and gender inequalities,driven from religious and ethnic beliefs and prejudices, to be recognized as artists in the field of art.

panel P076
The visual art of refugees: expressions of flight and exile [Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia Network Panel]