Fareshta Kohistani

FARESHTA KOHISTANI U.N. Photographer “With no photos to document what has happened in Afghanistan our story would not be complete.” Q: Why did you become a photographer? A: In the past, during fighting in Afghanistan, no one really took pictures of what was going on.  This is history, so I felt that it is very important to document what goes on in my country.   Q: Why is it so important? A: For instance, during the Taliban time all the women were trapped inside our houses and lived like animals.   Just eating and sleeping.  It is important that our history is always documented. Q: Is that when you decided to be a photographer, during the Taliban time? A: Yes, during this time I could see photojournalists trying to get the story of what was going on in Afghanistan out to the rest of the world.  This is when I realized how important this job would be.   Q: When you decided to become a photographer, were you worried because you were a woman? A: I accepted taking this job even with the many difficulties and dangers.  It is very important that we have female photographers in Afghanistan.  They are the only people truly able to tell the story of Afghan women. Q: Why do you like it even though it is dangerous? A: It registers our history as a country.  With no photos to document what has happened in Afghanistan our story would not be complete.  This works benefits me, my family and my country.  Before I thought taking photos was just aiming a camera and clicking a button.  Now I know that there are many skills needed to take good photos; location, timing, lighting many things. Q: How do you feel about the future of Afghanistan? A: This work helps.  It helps Afghans know what is going on in their own country and expands their minds outside of their own life.   Q: How did your family react when you told them you were going to do this? A: They were very interested and supportive.  Not only is this a new job for someone in my family, but it’s a new job for Afghan women.  They see the importance of that and are very happy for me.   Q: What do you say to other girls when they tell you they would like to become a photographer? A: I tell them that they should do it.  One of my sisters is now thinking of becoming a photographer too.   Q: Your father was killed during the fighting, if he was still alive would he like what you are doing? A: He was very different from many Afghan men.  He would be very happy for me and would want me to continue with this work.  I was very young when he died, but even then Kabul was much different than now.  Freer than it is today, he still desired his family to live in a better, freer society.  He would be happy seeing me working.

Poll

Which Photo Agency Is Hardest To Deal With? (Please use the comment section to address some of the issues you see.)
Getty
29%
Corbis
7%
Sipa
5%
Blackstar
4%
WireImage
6%
Panos
1%
Agency VU
2%
Lookat Photos
4%
VII
6%
Magnum
11%
Aurora
1%
Gamma
5%
WPN
5%
Zuma Press
8%
Polaris
5%
Total votes: 690