2013 Photo Contest, Sports Feature, Stories, 1st prize

I Just Want to Dunk

Photographer

Jan Grarup

Laif

07 August, 2012

Young women risk their lives to play basketball in Somalia. Even though Somalia’s UN-backed government has regained control of Mogadishu, al-Qaeda-linked militants are still active in the city. Al-Shabaab and other radical Islamist groups consider women playing sport to be un-Islamic.

About

Jan Grarup

Grarup’s work reflects his belief in photojournalism’s role as an instrument of witness and memory to incite change, and the necessity of telling the stories of people who are re...

Background story

Mogadishu, Somalia

Women’s national basketball team captain Suweys Ali Jama walks in the street outside a basketball court in Mogadishu. Ali Jama stands out because of her height, but female basketball players have to exercise extreme discretion in public.

 

Young women risk their lives to play basketball in Somalia. Even though Somalia’s UN-backed government has regained control of the capital Mogadishu, al-Qaeda-linked militants are still active in the city. Al-Shabaab and other radical Islamist groups consider women playing sport to be un-Islamic.

In 2006, the Somali Islamic Courts Union, a group of Sharia courts, issued an order banning women from playing all sport. One of the proposed punishments for women playing basketball is to cut off the right hand or left foot. Members of the Somali national women’s basketball team have received death threats.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/2500 sec
Focal length
50 mm
F-Stop
1.4
ISO
100
Camera
Nikon D4

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