Soha (nickname), a 22-year-old and Mohammad, a 30- year-old , are a gay couple in the yard of their friends house in Kabul. After a year of waiting for their case to be examined by LGBTQI community defenders, they are now disappointed and have decided to leave Afghanistan illegally and immigrate to Europe. The LGBTQ community has always been discriminated against and has been tortured in the world, but this battle is more unequal in Afghanistan. Where the religious and traditional thinking of society is more involved in homophobia it exposes these people to more mental and physical violence. With the fall of the government of the Republic of Afghanistan in the dark of August 15, 2021, and the rise to power of the extremist Islamic and terrorist group, the Taliban, the situation of these people became far more deadly than before. They are in danger of murder, violence, and sexual slavery by the government. They cannot come to work or meet the basic needs of life in society due to the fear of detection. And they have inevitably taken refuge in a kind of underground life and some have to work as sex workers against their will.

First Place

Elham Abbasloo

I was born in Iran in 1985. I have been working as a freelance photographer in Iran and Afghanistan for the past eight years and most of my project are about human rights. I have received the Honorable Mention in the 2020 IPA International Photography Competition.

[ PORTRAITS ] A single photograph of a person or group of people that increases the understanding and appreciation of the subject(s). Selfies or self-portraits are acceptable. Submissions do not have to adhere to documentary principles. Alternate processes and digital manipulations are allowed. Each participant is allowed to enter up to 10 images. The images must be taken in 2022.

Judges for Portraits
Sandipa Malakar
Willy Kurniawan
Zhou Yang
Ki-Ho Park
Suzanne Lee
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