Unveiled: Voices of Women in Afghanistan

3 Oct 2008 – 16 Nov 2008

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Independent Photographers Gallery

Battle, United Kingdom


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Unveiled: Voices of Women in Afghanistan


The effect of war on the lives of women has often been under-represented in a photographic industry that thrives on dramatic images of combat. In Afghanistan, which has known continuous warfare for a generation, and where women's freedoms have been repressed by religious zealots, women have often endured violence, repression and bereavement. Award-winning photographer Harriet Logan (UK) travelled to Afghanistan twice, first in 1997, during the Taliban's repressive rule, and again after the defeat of the Taliban in 2001. In her first visit, Logan spoke to and photographed women who risked their safety because they felt that the outside world needed to know what was happening to them. In 2001, Logan returned to Afghanistan, where she found many of these women again and met others. These women shared with her stories of unimaginable sadness and abiding strength through the long years of war and uncertainty. Zargoona, a widow, reveals that she could not afford to treat her cancer because Taliban law prevented women from earning a living. Nine-year-old Sanam rejoices that she can carry her doll without being beaten for idolatry. Latifa lost her foot when she stepped on a mine and subsequently left her house only four times during Taliban rule. At a time when the future of Afghanistan under UN and US occupation remains deeply uncertain, and when in Iraq women are being forced on pain of death out of education and back behind the veil, Logan's images and her subjects' words carry a stark plea to the present. Supported by Future Film, Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council.

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