The recent August 2021 takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has left the Afghan peoples isolated, dispossessed, and displaced – two and a half million million Afghan people, globally, were formally registered as refugees by the United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees. Photographers, ERE Foundation and Stefan Dotter, as well as activist, Sabrina Herzog, have collaborated on a remarkable project entitled the Hope fundraiser, for which one hundred photographers are selling their prints at eighty euros each, with the help of Art Lab Sheriff Projects. The objective is to raise enough funds for eight Afghan photography students to evacuate Afghanistan and find refuge elsewhere.
One of the groups targeted by the Taliban are the Hazara ethnic minority group (making up only nine per cent of the total population). The latest conflict in the country has destabilised them, leaving them in immediate need of humanitarian aid so that they can evacuate their country. The fundraiser brings together creatives from across the globe, each with their own idiosyncratic perception of the world for an altruistic cause that revitalises hope for our generation.

These aspiring photographers belong to the Hazara Shiite community, an ethnic minority which is at risk of genocide under the Taliban regime; six out of eight are women, meaning they are double discriminated in their own country. Afghan photographer, Farzana Wahidy, worked alongside Dotter, and UN agencies, to hold photography workshops for these students. Wahidy became an award-winning photographer through her evocative images of women and girls of Afghanistan, who suffer discrimination and exclusion from society simply for being. Her collection, The Women of Afghanistan, presents powerful images of young and elderly women after self-immolation.

Stefan Dotter, editor-in-chief of Whitelies magazine, is a visual artist based between Berlin and Tokyo, and works in both film and photography. Dotter has worked through UNHCR for the last two years with the goal of securing a future for these students, as professional photographers.

Hope presents contributions from Carlijn Jacobs, a director and photographer based between London and Paris, who’s captivating and otherworldly photography has been featured on British culture magazines, Dazed and Pop. Tom Johnson is another talent featured on Hope, a London-based photographer who is keen on showcasing his vivid and raw insight on culture, nature, and friendship; his work Dharamshala – Entorse relies on shadows and the endearing chemistry between the monks and basketball players of Dharamshala (India). David Avazzadeh has also contributed his mind-bending work; the Vienna-based, self-taught photographer is celebrated for his distinctive merging of the familiar and unfamiliar, of realism and fiction.

The art of photography is a tool used for aesthetic, expression, and in the case of photojournalism, protest. Wahidy’s photographic documenting gives a voice to the women who have, for years, been silenced; with the help of Hope, these young photographers will be able to tell their own stories, without fear.
Alex Huanfa Cheng   Family Self Portrait.jpg
Alex Huanfa Cheng - Family Self-Portrait
Alexandra Von Fuerst   Fragility and Vulnerability Are the Beauty of the Whole.jpg
Alexandra Von Fuerst - Fragility and Vulnerability are the beauty of the Whole
Alice Schillaci   Untitled.jpg
Alice Schillaci - Untitled
Allyssa Heuze   Palm Readings  2021.jpg
Allyssa Heuze - Palm Readings, 2021
Anna Breit   Together.jpg
Anna Breit - Together
Carlijn Jacobs   Untitled.jpg
Carlijn Jacobs - Untitled
Chloe Le Drezen   Venice.jpg
Chloe le Drezen - Venice
Estelle Hanania   Le Vrai Paradis N Est Pas Au Ciel.jpg
Estelle Hanania - Le Vrai Paradis n est pas au Ciel
Flavia Sistiaga   Mare Mia.jpg
Flavia Sistiaga - Mare Mia
Jamie Hawkesworth   Untitled.jpg
Jamie Hawkesworth - Untitled
Johanna Maria Fritz   Shaolin Kämpferinnen in Kabul.jpg
Johanna Maria Fritz - Shaolin Kämpferinnen in Kabul
John Clayton Lee   City Beyond Chapter 3.jpg
John Clayton Lee - City Beyond Chapter 3
Juliette Cassidy   Afghan Twin Sisters.jpg
Juliette Cassidy - Afghan Twin Sisters
Kevin Castanheira   Walvis Bay Boys.jpg
Kevin Castanheira - Walvis Bay Boys
Nikki Mclarron   Baby Yak  Tibet  2019.jpg
Nikki Mclarron - Baby Yak, Tibet, 2019
Thomas Lohr Fontaintebleau.jpg
Thomas Lohr - Fontaintebleau
Wai Lin Tse   Untitled.jpg
Wai Lin Tse - Untitled