Kanza Fatima
INDIA
Kanza Fatima is a documentary photographer based in Delhi, India. Born and brought up in the country’s capital, she is an indigenous photographer working over her own personal space and people. As a women photographer she tries to create images in concern with women issues, in and beyond my Muslim community. Kanza Fatima has worked with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) over the DST Core Project and has helped in the curation of the Neel Dongre Grant’s Exhibition under the guidance of ace photographer Aditya Arya. She has exhibited her work in Kuala Lumpur Photo Festival Malaysia, Print Space Gallery London UK, IGNCA India, Jamini Roy Gallery India and Eyes on Main Street Wilson Outdoor Photo Festival 2018 based in North Carolina United States of America, etc. She has also been the recipient of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop’s Scholarship 2018. Her work on the Shia women of Muharram has been published in Yahoo News, Photojournalism Now, Platform Magazine, and more.
Women of Muharram
The word ‘Muharram’ means ‘Forbidden’. The month of Muharram marks the martyrdom of Imam Hussain and 72 of his followers, who were brutally killed by the army of Yazid in the Battle of Karbala. During this month, one must abstain from all worldly joys. Through the project, I wish to portray the role of women in mourning during Muharram. Since the onset of Islam, women have played a major role in spreading the religion across the globe. They had always been at the forefront to perform religious duties as leaders and set examples to the community. However, even in the 21st Century, the public religious processions during Muharram has been male-dominated since men are the ones who draw blood and self-flagellate – in memory of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. My project is a visual representation of the Indian Shia Muslim women, who, I believe, play a more significant role during the mourning procession. The project seeks to explore the emotional journey of women throughout this process and aims at negating the popular belief that Muharram is mostly about men. I believe that it is with the faith of these women, who stand parallel to Shia men and perform ritual sacrifices, that makes Muharram more significant. My photographs will attempt to show why and how we must reconsider popular traditions, practices, and theologies from a feminist perspective.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.