Marai Photo Award: My Afghanistan

Marai Photo Award:

"My Afghanistan"

Winner: Farshad Usyan

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April 18, 2019

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Marai Photo Award competition.

The Marai Photo Award winner
Farshad Usyan
Title: The Pacifist
Peace does not only mean absence of war, it could also mean a safe environment, human dignity, right to education, right of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of choice and freedom of sexuality.

2nd Prize
Hoshang Hashimi
Title: Afghan Life in the Middle of Conflict
The struggle facing Afghans in their daily lives. Despite long-term instability, severe economic and infrastructure damage, they are still working, living and enjoying life.

3rd Prize
Mohammad Anwar Danishyar
Title: Bricks to Blackboards
The hard labour carried out by families dependent on rich owners of open-air brick factories, with their children's classrooms set up in the middle.

Winners will be presented with the awards at a ceremony in Paris.
The press release can be found here.

See Awards page

View all

About the Marai Photo Award

Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP

Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP

On April 30, 2018, Shah Marai, chief photographer of the Agence France-Presse (AFP) Kabul Bureau, was killed in a suicide attack.
Throughout his career, Shah Marai dedicated himself to showing the reality of life in Afghanistan in the midst of terror. In honour of his work, AFP is organising a photography contest in his name. This contest also aims to support Afghan photographers.

If you would like to find out more about Shah Marai, please visit this blog.

"My Afghanistan"
Afghan photographers living in Afghanistan or overseas, OR naturalised citizens of Afghan origin. Participating photographers must be able to provide a valid ID and be of legal age according to Afghan laws or the laws of their country of citizenship on February 24, 2019.
A series of 7-15 photos arranged on a single theme that tells a story in pictures, with a text description (1200 characters max.).
  • The Marai Photo Award website opens for entries on February 5, 2019.
  • Registration deadline is on February 28, 2019 (23:59 Afghan Time).
  • Submission deadline is on March 3, 2019 (23:59 Afghan Time).
  • The Marai Photo Award winner announced in April 2019, along with 2nd and 3rd prize winners.
  • Winners will be invited to attend the award ceremony in Paris.

The Marai Photo Award Winner

  • Nikon D850 camera
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens
  • AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED lens
  • Trophy and Certificate

2nd Prize

  • Nikon D750 camera
  • AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens
  • Certificate

3rd Prize

  • Nikon D500 camera
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR lens
  • Certificate

Concept for the Marai Photo Award: "My Afghanistan"

To the outside world, Afghanistan is defined by the images of violence and tragedy that appear regularly in international news. But there's another side to the country, full of warmth and humanity, which is rarely reported on. Shah Marai understood the importance of showing this side of Afghanistan to the world, and not just what happens on the front lines of conflict. That's what inspired "My Afghanistan." To respect and remember Marai's work, we are inviting Afghan photographers to submit their own pictures of the country. We are looking for series of pictures to tell stories that show the reality of daily life; culture, social issues, environment, features and offer insights that can only be discovered by people who've been there, telling the story of their Afghanistan.


If you have any inquiries, please contact us by e-mail here.