Alexandra Boulat

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Alexandra Boulat, co-founder of VII photo agency, speaks about working in war zones and her project on women in the Middle East.

Alexandra Boulat was born in Paris in 1962. She was originally trained in graphic art and art history at the Beaux Arts. Sipa Press represented her for 10 years until 2000. Then in 2001 she co-founded the photo agency VII. Her news and feature stories have been published in many international magazines, including Time, Newsweek, National Geographic and Paris-Match. She has also received many international awards for her work.


An Afghan woman is weeping under her burka, as she can’t stand the hard refugee life conditions any more. Out of the 1,200,000 Afghan refugees in Pakistan, 170,000 are living under tents in poor conditions at the Shamshatoo camp in Pakistan, 40 kms south of Peshawar.
(Pakistan 2001)


A young Afghan lady dressed up for her cousin’s wedding in a Hotel in Kabul.


Although she denies it, Shahima age 25,  has burned herself to protest about her condition. She is being treated at the Herat Hospital in the burns unit, suffering from deep burns and the beginning of septicaemia. Her face is covered with a veil to protect her from insects.

She set herself on fire twenty days ago but was first treated at her home, in Apushtu Zargham, 25 km away from Herat. ” I was unhappy with my husband’s family. There was nothing to make me happy in my life.” Married for 3 years, her husband was a teacher but quit his job because his salary wasn’t enough to sustain the family. She is a mother of two and denies having set herself on fire although according to the doctors, there is no doubt. ” It’s because of all these problems with my family-in-law…Anyway, I have to go back to my husband.”
(Afghanistan 2004)