18-year-old Sana wakes up every day at 6am in the
apartment she shares with her three sisters and mother on the outskirts of
Berlin. She rides the S-Bahn 45 minutes across town and shows up for class by
8am. In school she learns history, geography and math but mostly she learns
German. It's a far cry from her life in Kabul, Afghanistan where, instead of
going to school or learning how to read and write, she worked as a hairdresser.
Now, five days a week Sana goes to school. Once a week she leaves school and
puts on borrowed football cleats to join her teammates at Champions ohne Grenzen, a football
team for refugee women in Berlin, Germany. The players come from Afghanistan,
Iran, Syria, Somalia and Albania. For most of them, this is the first time they
have ever played football.
is a photo and text based book project exploring the players' experiences both
on and off the field – at home, with family, navigating German bureaucracy and
growing as they become contributing members of their communities. In Berlin
since the mass wave of migration in 2015, the women have spent the past few
years learning German, going to school and establishing new lives. Two years in the making, the
final work combines photography, journals, texts, interviews, poems and
drawings in exhibition and book form. It is an intimate portrait of a group of
young women and the highs and lows inherent in establishing a new life in a
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