In Afghanistan, Tattoos Are Markers of Autonomy

Afghan women use them to combat their society’s contradictory views, even if the stakes are high

Ruchi Kumar
ZORA

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Soraya Shahidi, a 26-year-old Afghan nail and tattoo artist, puts the finishing touches on a tattoo.
Soraya Shahidi, a 26-year-old Afghan nail and tattoo artist, puts the finishing touches on a tattoo on her client Marina. Photography: Ivan Flores

ItIt is a warm August weekend day in the Afghan capital of Kabul, but that doesn’t slow down Soraya Shahidi, a 26-year-old Afghan nail and tattoo artist. Dressed smartly in her ripped blue jeans and long yellow coat, her hair…

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Ruchi Kumar
ZORA

Writer. Journalist. Humanist. Based in #Afghanistan. Words @ForeignPolicy @Guardian @AJEnglish @WashingtonPost @Vice Earlier: Web producer @dna @TimesofIndia