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Taha Siddiqui who runs the DISSIDENT club bar in the evenings, is an award-winning Pakistani journalist living in exile in Paris since February 2018. He moved to France with his family after surviving a kidnapping and possible assassination attempt on his life, for his journalistic work. He was being threatened by Pakistan Army for several years preceding to the attack on January 2018. In Pakistan, Taha worked for the New York Times, the Guardian, France24, Arte, the Christian Science Monitor, Al Jazeera and many other international and local media organizations. He received the prestigious Prix Albert Londres (aka the French Pulitzer) in 2014 for a documentary on the issue of polio virus in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Since moving to Paris, Taha has been working with various French and international media organizations, and has written for the Guardian, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, among many other outlets. He is also teaching journalism and human rights at the well-known French university SciencesPo. He also manages two digital media platforms called South Asia Press and SAFENewsrooms and is also writing a graphic novel about his life to be published by Glénat by 2023.


Sara Farid is an independent Pakistani documentary photographer living in exile in France. Most of her work has been documenting people’s testimonies through radio, TV documentaries and now photography to help raise their voice and highlight their problems. Farid has worked on religious and sexual minorities, child labor, internal migration, transgender, malnutrition, education, polio and many others. Her writings and photographs offer intimate glimpses into the lives of ordinary people and provides an opportunity to understand personal struggles and triumphs of various communities. From covering war in Swat Valley to the mean streets of Karachi, she has been in the middle of – often deadly action in Pakistan and has produced captivating work from such risky environments. Her work has appeared in leading publications such as The New York Times, The Gaurdian, Wall Street journal, AFP and Reuters. She continues to do so in France and has had photo exhibitions in Paris. She has set up a photo studio at The Dissident Club to carry out training workshops and photo exhibitions.