PostHeaderIcon Curlers against Misery

A group of New York Make-up and Hair Artists team up with Vogue Magazine in a very ambitious plan: the total re-styling of Kabul’s women. Where American soldiers dropped bombs only a year ago, the American beauty delegation hopes to regain the trust of Afghani women.

This is no joke: American women set up the first Western beauty school in Kabul designed to “help Afghani women to regain confidence” – and to generate an independent income from opening and running beauty parlors, eventually all over Afghanistan. Curlers against Misery takes a look at this unusual kind of development aid – and at cultural misunderstandings despite good intentions.


With 2 million returning refugees and further 1.5 million expected this year, Afghanistan’s resources have since long been spent. Only 12% of the population has access to safe drinking water. In Kabul, the population has doubled to 2.7 million over the past winter, with refugees flooding into the UN secured city. Limited housing and employment coupled with inflation and repeated rocket and bomb attacks make life increasingly difficult. At least 100.000 squatters eke out a marginal existence in the bombed-out ruins of houses, without access to water or electricity.


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