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Joël van Houdt

Kuja meri?: Afghan Refugees Across the Globe

An On the Front Lines: Performing Afghanistan opening event

Joël van Houdt

Take a rare and revealing look into the lives of Afghan women and refugees through the works of photographer Joël van Houdt and two one-act plays by Nushin Arbabzadah and Alia Bano.

Award-winning Dutch photojournalist Joël van Houdt moved to Kabul in 2010 and from 2013 to 2017 documented the journeys of Afghan refugees around the world. These photographs were exhibited together under the title Kuja meri?—“Where are you going?” in the Dari language—at the Kings Place Gallery in London (2017) and, working with the Afghan ArtLords, as a series of large-scale images displayed on blast walls in the center of Kabul (2018). After the talk, guests will join van Houdt for an onstage discussion.

This artist talk is preceded by Sahar Speaks: Voices of Women from Afghanistan at 4:30 PM, a free premiere performance of Arbabzadah’s and Bano’s one-act plays. Today’s events mark the opening day of Ohio State’s On the Front Lines: Performing Afghanistan initiative, designed to bring Afghan women’s voices to the fore through storytelling and theater. All are welcome to attend a reception in Heirloom Cafe between the two programs.

Joël van Houdt

Joël van Houdt

Photo from “Kuja Meri?” (Where are you going?): Afghan Refugees Across the Globe

From “Kuja Meri?” (Where are you going?): Afghan Refugees Across the Globe
Photo: Joël van Houdt

About the Artist

Joël van Houdt chevron-down chevron-up

Joël van Houdt, currently based in Moscow, is an award-winning photojournalist. His most recent exhibition took place in Katowice, Poland, as part of the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference. For this event he was commissioned to document the melting permafrost in Russia’s Sakha republic. His long-term interests include Afghanistan, migration, and the countries of the former USSR.

Presented by Ohio State’s Department of Theatre and the Middle East Studies Center with support from Department of History, Near Eastern Languages and Literatures, University Libraries’ Middle East and Islamic Studies Service, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Supported by a Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme.

Cardinal Health Foundation
Huntington Bank

Greater Columbus Arts Council
Ohio Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation


Past Talks & More

Joël van Houdt