Class Is In
Karte Seh, Kabul, Afghanistan
This is house that functions as a school for the English language. It is run by an arm of a non-profit that works in Afghanistan, and they have classes everyday and even some evenings for Afghans to learn English for whatever reason they may have to do so. I stayed through a few different classes but mainly focused on photographing one that was just for women.
I was introduced and talked a bit about my project, saying I would love to take portraits of any woman who was interested in having me do so after. Each lady introduced herself and told me why she was learning English. It was really interesting to hear the variety of responses. One woman was a stay at home Mom who just wanted to learn English, another lady wanted to learn to advance her career, another to go get her PhD. Each one had a different reason, really, but they were all quite driven to do so and spoke well already.
They were excited that I was doing my project and wanted to know how I was finding Afghanistan. One thing I told them was that I was really surprised by the diversity of the Afghan populations. I had known of the three main ethnic groups– the Pashtun, Tajik, and Hazaras. But I had been really surprised by how "Asian" many of the people looked. Those are the Hazaras, and their origin goes back to the days of Genghis Khan when the Mongols got involved in this region of South Asia. This group of class friends that I photographed are Hazara and you can see the influence of history through their likeness. Great group of women.