Today’s Friday Flick is the short film Ascend, directed by Kathryn Francis & Campbell Brewer, presented by Patagonia.
For Afghan women, Mina Bakhshi, Haniya Tavasoli and Rabia Hussain had a relative amount of freedom. They were able to go to work, pursue their education and explore hobbies.
Joining Ascend, a nonprofit organization teaching leadership and rock climbing to women, gave them the chance to test their limits in the extensive (and underexplored) mountains of their home country.
But when the Taliban took over in August 2021, Ascend was suddenly Afghani women climbers’ one chance to escape a regime that would severely restrict their future. While the women of Ascend were being resettled in other countries with volunteer host families from Ascend’s network—often other climbers offering to help—Merryn Venugopal and Michelle Pellette, two members of Yosemite Search and Rescue, were also looking to find ways to support fellow climbers in crisis.
They invited the Afghan women to spend a week in Yosemite, where they could safely reunite and find inspiration in an inclusive climbing community.
Now, as they build new lives in a country separated from their families, the women find that meeting other climbers in Yosemite is also a connection to home.
Learn more about the women of Ascend’s journey from Afghanistan to Yosemite in Afarin! Good Job! by Lauren DeLaunay Miller.
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