Sonia Naudy (eng – 2012 edition)

Afghanistan – Inside women’s prisons

Licentiousness, blasphemy, consumption of alcohol, adultery, running away from home, even rape – in Afghanistan nearly three quarters of the women locked up in prison are there for so-called “moral” crimes. But in a country where women’s rights are ridiculed, it is in prison that women can finally breathe freely. The penitentiary world in Afghanistan is a paradox. Prisoners enjoy a certain amount of freedom inside detention centres. They come and go as they please, most of them with no veil, smoke cigarettes, wear make-up… They have access to lessons teaching reading and writing, English, or computer skills, offered by the Afghan NGOs. However, all of this will be completely useless to them on the outside as they are not allowed to exercise any professional activity. Sonia Naudy’s project consists in showing “the after-prison”, as this is often when the hardest part begins for former female prisoners.


Sonia NaudySonia Naudy started the photographic project on female Afghan prisoners in June 2010. Her work was published in an independent women’s magazine, Shi’zen, in July 2011, then in the first issue of the magazine Là-Bas, in March 2012. She has also won awards in photographic competitions: 3rd prize in the student category of Les photographies de l’année 2011 and a merit prize in the Yonhap International Press Photo Awards 2011.