Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Forsaken: Lana Slezic

Maisonneuve: "The women in Lana Slezic's Forsaken are bursts of colour on a bleak and desolate landscape, shimmering points of energy moving across beige, rain-starved fields beneath grey skies. Flipping through the pictures, it's hard to fathom how a land so hostile to life could beget such vibrant human beauty. The immediate impression is that of resilience and strength in the face of insurmountable odds. . . Forsaken is not so much entertainment as it is a powerful primary-source documentation of injustice, suffering, death and hope."

Globe and Mail, November 2007": ...a curiously beautiful book. Afghanistan is, among other things, photogenic: The land has an austere beauty, the people have strong faces... The antidote to all this lies in the short texts by Slezic that intersperse the sequence of photographs. These are an unremitting j'accuse against the constant abuse of women... In this book every picture could use a thousand words."

In March 2004, when award-winning photographer Lana ┼álezic began an assignment in Afghanistan, she never dreamed she would stay for two years. At the time she believed that since the ousting of the suffocating Taliban in 2001, Afghan women and girls were living under considerably less oppressive conditions. She soon discovered that life for Afghan women was not as she expected and felt compelled to stay and document their story. With the help of a young female Afghan as her friend and translator, Lana photographed women all over the country. Over endless cups of tea in sitting rooms from city to village, Lana learned that Afghan women are still living in a harrowingly oppressive society where forced marriage, domestic violence, honor killings, and an unpalatable lack of freedom still exist. Even today many are not allowed to leave their homes or go to school, and the burka remains a common sight on the dusty streets of the war-torn country. Forsaken: Afghan Women is a collection of photographs and vignettes that document Lana’s journey over the two-year period during which she lived and worked in Afghanistan.

1 comment:

Millie said...

Hauntingly beautiful work. Thank you LP for this post, Lena's story & her important work has touched me deeply.
Millie ^_^