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The North through Afghan eyes


Afghan photojournalism student Farzana Wahidy (ABOVE) turned her lens on the landscapes and people of Baffin Island, Nunavut, including these residents (TOP) motoring around the hamlet of Qikiqtarjuaq.
(Photos: Farzana Wahidy)
Farzana Wahidy hopes her photographs of the Canadian Arctic will help raise awareness of global climate change in her native Afghanistan. The 24-year-old photojournalism student at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont., came to Canada on a scholarship in 2007 after working at the Associated Press news agency in Afghanistan. She travelled to Iqaluit, Nunavut, in August as part of a special Students on Ice expedition, supported by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society to mark International Polar Year.

On Baffin Island, Wahidy began a personal and professional journey filled with firsts. “For the first time in my life, I wasn’t concerned about how I was wearing my head scarf and clothing,” she says. It was also her first group trip and the first time she had travelled in mixed company. Far from cellphones and internet access, it was her first time without regular contact with family members back home. And she discovered a completely new subject upon which to cast her lens. “I want to see how climate change affects my people too,” says Wahidy. “Lack of water is one of the biggest issues. People are really suffering in my country.”
— Shawna Wagman

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