"I feel lucky to have met them": Photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson on the Skate Girls of Kabul

| 10 April 2015

Photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson’s series of portraits, Skate Girls of Kabul, are about to form part of a major exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery. They include Skate Girl, a runner-up in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize

A photo of a young girl standing with her skateboard
© Jessica Fulford-Dobson
“I met so many impressive women and girls in Afghanistan: a teacher as tough and determined as any man; young Afghans in their early 20s who were volunteering at an orphanage and were passionate about being seen as strong and willing to fight for themselves, rather than as victims of circumstance.

A photo of a young girl standing with her skateboard
© Jessica Fulford-Dobson
There were girls who were being educated to be leaders in their communities and who were already thinking carefully about their own and their country’s future. And of course there were the young skate girls, so fun to be around and so totally unspoilt.

A photo of a young girl standing with her skateboard
© Jessica Fulford-Dobson
This girl first caught my eye because she was wearing such a beautiful colour. She’s just immaculate. From the way she has tied her headscarf so beautifully and so naturally, you see that she has an innate sense of grace.

Her little hennaed hand rests gently, yet possessively, on the skateboard – and how small she seems beside it. I love her assurance: her firm, steady gaze. One feels a sense of depth in her eyes, even though she is just seven years of age.

I feel lucky to have met them. I hope that this collection captures something of their spirit: their joy in life, their individuality and their community.”

  • Jessica Fulford-Dobson: Skate Girls of Kabul is at the Saatchi Gallery, London from April 15-28 2015. Visit jessicafd.com.

A photo of a young girl standing with her skateboard
© Jessica Fulford-Dobson
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