Ishkashim is a border town between Tajikistan and Afghanistan in the mountainous Badakhshan province. The border itself is the river of Amu Darya. Once in a week, on a neutral land between the two countries, international border bazaar is held, and people of the two countries can interact directly. Wars and ideology differences had distanced the two neighboring people in an extreme way. All of the people coming from Afghanistan are men, and those from Tajikistan side are dominated by women. The men from Afghanistan told me they will not bring their women here, as they don’t want their women to learn the free way of life of the Tajikistan women, which is for them regarded un-Islamic. While the Tajikistan women also fear of the Afghans, which for them is a horror country full of religious fundamentalism and terrorism. The Tajikistan woman in this photo said she never cover her face and head in daily life in Tajikistan. She just covers her face when she comes to this bazaar, not because of religion, but of fear towards the Afghan men.

Ishkashim, Afghanistan-Tajikistan border, 2008

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