Jaheda Sadat is a photographer fulfilling her lifetime wish to capture the beauty of Afghanistan and shed light on the lives of women. For the last 5 years she has worked in photography, pursuing artistic photos that capture the beauty and story of the surrounding world.
Ms. Sadat has been the head of Abnos Photography Center, whose motto is ‘Photography by women for women’ for the last 2 years. The center was established in 2012 and is dedicated to women’s photography.
Ms. Sadat said her artistic inspiration is drawn from her past experiences. “After witnessing lots of suffering and problems faced by women in Afghanistan, I believed we needed to develop a form of expression so awareness of the situation faced by women in the past was widely known and hopefully not repeated. In the past, women could not go outside the home but today I am very happy women’s lives are improving in many different ways. My photography is an honor for all the women in Afghanistan.”Jaheda Sadat explained that you must never give up on pursuing your vision, even if the form of that vision changes. “When I was studying in school I wanted to become a painter. I tried very hard to master this skill, but I could not become successful in this medium. So, then I thought to myself about another way I could complete my childhood wish. Then I realized painting and photography both capture the beauty inherent in our lives. Eventually, I came to believe it is better to take the photo of an image and capture the purity of the image. Now, I have fulfilled my wish to create images that tell people a story, but instead of using a paintbrush, I use a camera. Photography has helped me fulfill my childhood wish, albeit in a different way. I think my experience can and should inspire youth to stay with their dreams, no matter which form they may take.”
Ms. Sadat’s professional photographs have repeatedly been chosen as ‘Best Photo’ in numerous exhibitions. Her most recent exhibit at a show sponsored by the Department of Women’s Affairs gave her great pride. “This kind of event wouldn’t have taken place in the past and this show really speaks to the advancement of women in our society.”
As Herat Province grows, Ms. Sadat is leading a new generation of women artists who are now able to realize their childhood dream. She concluded, “It is my deepest wish more young girls will be able to follow their interests and improve whatever field they chose to pursue.”