World Press Photo 2022

Asia - Stories

 Culture can also be a casualty of war. Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the government-owned Ariana Cinema in Kabul remained closed, its staff in limbo, waiting to hear whether the Taliban would allow films to be screened. Male staff still arrive for work daily, in the hope they will eventually be paid, but Ms Asita Ferdous – the cinema's first female director – was not allowed in. In early 2022, the cinema remained closed, and women were no longer allowed to be employed there. 

Mr Gul Mohammed, who works as an usher in the Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan, posing for a photograph on Nov 4, 2021, nearly three months after the Taliban closed the cinema. Title: The Cinema of Kabul © Bram Janssen, The Associated Press
Ms Asita Ferdous, director of the government-owned Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan, sitting at home on Nov 10, 2021, nearly three months after the Taliban ordered female government employees to stay away from their workplaces. Title: The Cinema of Kabul © Bram Janssen, The Associated Press
Mr Rahmatullah Ezati inspecting a roll of film for damage, in the projection room of the Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov 8, 2021. Title: The Cinema of Kabul © Bram Janssen, The Associated Press
A staff member walking through empty hallways at the Ariana Cinema in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Nov 4, 2021. Title: The Cinema of Kabul © Bram Janssen, The Associated Press

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