July 09, 2018

Uphill Battle
„For the first time in my life I realized that I had thoughts of my very own.“
Quote by an Afghan woman going on a mountain tour without her family.

We would like to share a project with you that we think is amazing and deserves support!

It`s a Kickstarter campaign collecting money in order to shoot a documentary that will tell the story of a group of Afghan women. They are planning to climb the highest mountain of Afghanistan, which has never been climbed by an Afghan woman before, because sports is considered a shameful activity for Afghan women. In a country, where women are owned by their families and never asked what they want in their lives, these girls between 16-23 are trying to find their way under circumstances not even imaginable for us.

Theresa Breuer and Erin Trieb, the two initiators, have been living in the Middle East for almost a decade. Theresa has been working as a print journalist for German magazines, while Erin Trieb has been a photo journalist documenting conflicts and war mainly in Afghanistan. These two women started filming the first group of female mounteneers in Afghanistan in order to give them a voice and empower them as individuals in a society that is highly restrictive for women.

How did you meet and how did the idea for this project come up?

Theresa: „Erin and I met in 2015 in Iraq on assignment for Stern Magazin researching a story about women who have been obducted by ISIS. We got along very well and decided to collaborate further. Since we have both covered womens issues in our work, we decided that we wanted to do a story about women that was more empowering and more positive than the average war story from Afghanistan, it should become something about overcoming challenges and stereotypes.
Somehow it  happend by researching about Afghanistan that we stumbled across this group of female mounteneers.“

How was it possible for these girls to become part of a project like that and how did you start working with them?
Theresa: „In March 2017 we went to Afghanistan together to meet this group. Realising how multidimensional this project was we wanted to do a whole documentary about it instead of „only“ writing a story with pictures. Since then we have been filming the girls that were chosen to climb that mountain. We started following these indivdual persons documenting there daily lives, their trainings, their struggles with their families and society in general.
Their families had to agree in order to become part of the project however it`s often the extended family who is against such a project as well as neighbours and others.

What is the goal of this project?

Erin: „In order to answer this question you have to understand the Afghan society. The two pillars of the Afghan moral system are honour and shame. So if a girl does anything that could potentially be seen as shameful, it becomes a shame for the entire family. That`s why people never share anything private in Afghan society because nothing stays private.

The goal of the programme is to enable women to gain so much self confidence that they will be able to speak out and find their own voice. Our hope is that through mountaineering they will overcome the fears of not speaking about their feelings, their anxieties, their hopes, their dreams and eventually become rolemodels and talk to other women about it.“
The documentary will be narrated from the girls perspective, telling their stories how they want them to be told!

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