After Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15, 2021, Western media assigned the group a brand new moniker: “Taliban 2.0.” Certainly, the Islamic fundamentalist group that had dominated Afghanistan within the latter half of the ’90s — overseeing a theocratic regime that repressed ladies, non secular minorities and political opponents — promised to type an “open, inclusive Islamic authorities” and that girls have been “going to be very energetic within the society.”
Danish photographer Nanna Muus Steffensen, 36, has lived in Kabul since 2019. Because the worldwide media slowly turned away, Muus noticed rapidly how the Taliban started to renege on its guarantees and roll out a collection of repressive measures, largely focused at Afghan ladies. The caretaker cupboard put in in September was comprised of hardliners — and no ladies. That very same month, Afghanistan turned the one nation the place ladies couldn’t attend highschool. And in Could, ladies have been ordered to cowl their faces in public and to solely depart residence when vital. It was, says Muus, “a downward spiral over a 12 months.”
Muus’ photographic work has explored the various methods — some on a regular basis and a few life-and-death — these restrictions have altered life in Kabul. Fewer ladies are seen on the streets, and the colourful clothes they as soon as wore has been swapped for darker clothes. Fewer ladies are allowed to work, contributing to an financial disaster through which greater than 90 % of Afghans are affected by meals insecurity. The plunge of middle-class households into poverty means many can not afford to go to personal hospitals, inundating public maternity wards. And psychological well being points are surfacing amongst a era of ladies immediately stripped of their skilled and social selves. “Their entire id has been taken away from them — their plans, their goal, their future, their desires,” Muus says.