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The 2021 edition of the Marai Photo Award launches next month in Afghanistan, a country where journalists continue to pay a heavy price simply for doing their job

Entitled ‘My Afghanistan’, this award is organized by Agence France-Presse in honour of Shah Marai, who was chief photographer at the AFP Kabul bureau when he was killed in a suicide attack on April 30, 2018, aged just 41. Throughout his career, Shah Marai was an example for Afghan photographers, capturing unique pictures of his country with passion and tenderness.



The competition invites Afghan photographers to show the reality and the diversity of their country and its people, beyond tragic images of violence. Participants are invited to submit images of daily life, culture, education, the environment, health, and social issues.

This will be the third edition of the Marai Photo Award. This year, participants are asked to submit their entries from February 16 in the categories of “photo story” and “single photo.” The names of the winners will be announced before the third anniversary of Shah Marai’s death.

The jury will be composed of five members: Lyse Doucet, a veteran BBC journalist who has reported from Afghanistan for many years, Massoud Hossaini, a Pulitzer Prizewinning Kabul-based photographer, Ami Vitale, a photographer working with National Geographic Magazine, Kadir van Lohuizen, co-founder of the NOOR agency and a two-time World Press Photo award winner, and Stephane Arnaud, AFP’s global photo editor-in-chief.

You can access the competition website with more details on the submission process and prizes here:


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