2002 Photo Contest, Children's Award, Individual awards

Aleksander Nordahl


11 October, 2001

In Khwaja Bahawudin, northern Afghanistan, a girl smiles at the camera, while her two older sisters hide from the photographer. Young women are forbidden to appear unveiled in front of men in this area, which is controlled by the Northern Alliance. Parents decide when a girl is at the age to start wearing a veil. Aleksander Nordahl: 'I took this picture a few weeks after 11 September 2001, at a time when world attention was focused on Afghanistan. The reporter and I concentrated mostly on daily life and behind the front stories, and on the terrible humanitarian situation. The most important stories for me, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, are those about children in situations of war and disaster. The children are often the first to die, and their thoughts and feelings hardly count. I hope that people will recognize them in my photos.' (World Press Photo retrospective Children's Jury exhibition, 2003)

About the photographer

Aleksander Nordahl

Aleksander Nordahl was born in 1971 and studied at the Norwegian Institute of Journalism. He was a staff photographer at the Norwegian news agency NTB from 1992 to 1997, when he ...

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