December 2021

Photography Exhibition at FCCJ

December 4, 2021 to January 7, 2022

I visited Afghanistan about 20 years ago during the “War on Terror” following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Most of the news from there was about the war, but I was asked take photographs of a school in Herat funded by the Greek government.

My first impression upon arrival in Kabul was that it felt like I had traveled 200 years back in time. The city was still functioning, even though bombed out buildings stood next to those that were open for business. The streets bustled with an array of horsedrawn carts and cars. Despite the conflict, I was impressed by the Afghan people’s ability to carry on with their daily lives. It was such a visual place to photograph, from stoic bearded men with ready smiles and women in blue burqas, several of whom I found out wore makeup and colorful dresses underneath.

During my three-week stay in Afghanistan, I found the time to photograph other aspects of people’s lives in addition to the school. I was particularly interested in photographing women who were beginning to create a new reality away from the strict Islamic law of the Taliban. In Kabul, more liberal women were already covering their hair with scarves instead of wearing burquas. I saw busy hair salons and even a karate school for young girls. In Herat, women were still completely covered, but the new school I was there to photograph had classes for boys and girls.

Most of the people I met in 2003 now live in other countries. Now that the Taliban have returned, women’s rights are under threat, while the international community is struggling to decide how, or whether, to engage with the new regime.

Androniki Christodoulou

Androniki is from Thessaloniki, Greece. Following a successful career as a photojournalist and photographer, which included covering the 2004 Athens Olympics, Christodoulou moved to Tokyo. She works for a number of domestic and international publications, including the Financial Times, Der Spiegel, Marie Claire, and Business Week, along with commercial clients.
Her focus is on the human condition and capturing various aspects of everyday life in European and Asian cities. The aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan and the refugee crisis in Greece are among the themes she has documented.
She is also recognized for her portraits of Haruki Murakami, Takashi Murakami, and other public figures. Christodoulou published the photographic books UNDERWORLD, a collection of  ‘post-apocalyptic‘ cityscapes in Tohoku, and OTAKU SPACES.

Bruce Osborn, FCCJ Exhibitions Chair