the flowers of afghanistan

Alixandra Fazzina

A third of all the world’s refugees are from Afghanistan. The Russian Occupation, Warlordism, Taliban rule and the War on Terror have left an estimated five million people displaced beyond the country’s borders. Three decades of conflict have left a shrinking humanitarian space and as poverty and insecurity in the region worsen, a new generation is looking further afield in search of a better life.

Growing numbers of vulnerable Afghan youths continue to make the difficult and dangerous overland journey to Europe. Last year saw a 64% increase in unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan arriving in the European Union who applied for asylum, the average age being just 14-15 years old. Traveling alone they are exposed to abuse and exploitation by criminals or by the very smuggling networks in which their lives are placed.

Ten years on from 9/11, the surge in the numbers of children entering Europe should be cause to reflect on the plight of Afghanistan’s youth in the shadow of war.

As the recipient of the 2010 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award for her work documenting the often-overlooked humanitarian consequences of war, photographer and author Alixandra Fazzina’s newest reportage portrays the individual stories of Afghan children on the move. Following the Flowers of Afghanistan on their clandestine routes from Asia to Europe, the work intimately explores the motives, paths and significance of this new exodus.

  • The Flowers of Afghanistan
  • The Flowers of Afghanistan

in company

Alixandra Fazzina

Pegging up his black holdall onto the wall, Farshad ducks down next to a…

over mountains, underground

Alixandra Fazzina

Rubbish clutters the entrance to a narrow backstreet in Istanbul’s downtown Kumkapi district. Derelict…

the mafia hotel

Alixandra Fazzina

Wearing an over-sized salwar kameez and a prayer cap, the agent flicks back his…

first sea

Alixandra Fazzina

Shielding his eyes from the smoke, sixteen year old Ellum stirs a pot full…