Afghan female YouTubers interviewing the Taliban on the street

After the restrictions imposed by the Taliban on women journalists in Afghanistan, some of them have turned to YouTube. They say that although there are problems, they want to show a “positive image” of Afghanistan to the people of the world and to Afghans living far away through their YouTube channels.

Female YouTubers interview people on the streets, parks and markets of Kabul about their daily lives and activities.

Sometimes they talk with Taliban officials and people about the development projects implemented by the Taliban government.

If you use YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram, or Facebook, you may have seen many videos that made you laugh, made you cry, or brought back bitter and sweet memories of life in your homeland.

Recently, some of these videos have attracted a lot of attention inside and outside the country.

Female YouTubers talk to people on the roads of Kabul, sometimes they talk to old people, sometimes they joke with children and villagers who have just come to the city, and sometimes they ask passersby mental questions.

“I prepare a report on Taliban projects”

Farhanaz is one of these female YouTubers who used to be a journalist but lost her job after the Taliban returned to power and now earns her living/salary from a YouTube channel.

He says: “I focus more on issues where young people have shown creativity, like the young man who built a car. Book exhibitions, national archive and national museum, I prepare more reports on such topics.

In Kabul, the majority of female YouTubers make videos in Farsi. Parts of some of their interviews with Taliban people who cannot speak Farsi (Dari) have also become famous.

In a conversation, one of the Taliban people answers the YouTuber’s question in Pashto after a few Persian words, and hides his face with a limp corner/handkerchief, while his fellow passengers on the other side slowly laugh at him.

Farhanaz talking to workers in Kabul city

Satish Hayat was working in a YouTube channel, after changing the way of operation by the channel managers, he has launched his own independent YouTube channel.

Satish says: “After leaving my job, I wanted to work independently. I created a personal YouTube. The programs, subjects are all produced by me, and I do the editing and broadcasting and publishing of the materials on YouTube myself. “The channel where I used to work, because all the activities are done by boys, according to the officials, they archived our programs and I left my job.”

Before the Taliban returned to power, some girls were active on YouTube. In addition to comedy programs and playing music, they talked with artists. But with the change of the system, the content of their programs has also changed.

Female YouTubers praise some Taliban soldiers who take care of them and prevent street harassment during an interview in the market.

They say that some people’s comments about the videos that are broadcast sometimes frustrate them. Although they seem satisfied with their work, they also have complaints.

Some say, “You are a lion for working in these conditions.”

Farhanaz said about the audience’s reaction: “If we speak better, they will talk about our clothes.” Let’s make clothes, they complain about it. They criticize our coverage and programs. The opinions of the audience are different, some are kind and say: ‘You are a lion for working in such conditions.’ But some opinions about us and our work are negative.

Farhanaz also remembered a bitter memory that one day he was insulted during an interview and one of his relatives beat him because of his activity on YouTube.

Due to the clashes in the society, Satish Hayat has decided to limit all his activities at home. He involves other family members in his activities and tries to depict the ways of life in Afghan families by making cultural allegorical videos. Due to this feature, his work has found many fans.

Following the return of the Taliban in August 2021, restrictions were imposed on women’s work in the media, along with other areas of life.

At the same time, the authorities of some YouTube channels have hidden and archived the reports and interviews of women such as Satish Hayat from the audience.

Mrs. Hayat says that fake accounts cut some of her humorous scenes and verbal mistakes and broadcast them on Tik Tok, harassing her, even from female users.

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