Portrait | Nominee

Ebrahim Noroozi

Buenos Aires / AR

Afghan women athletes barred from play, fear Taliban threats


A number of girls and women who once played a variety of sports told that they have been terrorized by Taliban, with intimidating visits and phone calls warning them not to engage in their sports. They spoke on condition of anonymity of that their full names not be used for fear they will face further threats.

They posed for portraits with the equipment of the sports they loved. They hid their identities with their burqas, the all-encompassing robes and hood that completely cover the face, leaving only a mesh to see through.

The ban on sports is just one way the Taliban have shut down life for girls and women.


Ebrahim Noroozi is an award-winning photographer who has worked for a decade at The Associated Press. He’s been thrice honored by World Press Photo, including a first prize in 2013 for his observed portraits of the targets of acid attacks in Iran called “Victims of Forced Love.” And Two second prizes in 2012 and 2013.

His images for the AP have been carried by newspapers, magazines and websites across the world.

His artwork has been exhibited for many years at Paris Photo and other exhibitions as recently as 2022.