powerHouse Books, Hardcover, 9781576873953, 96pp.
Publication Date: July 1, 2007
In March 2004, when award-winning photographer Lana Šlezic 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, Šlezic photographed women all over the country. Over endless cups of tea in sitting rooms from city to village, Šlezic 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 is a collection of photographs and vignettes that document Šlezic’s journey over the two-year period during which she lived and worked in Afghanistan.
Lana Šlezic was born in Toronto, Canada in 1973 to Croatian parents. Šlezic has exhibited her work at the War Photo Gallery in Croatia, the Toronto International Art Fair, and the Kargart Gallery for the Istanbul Ifsak Biennial. The recipient of various photography awards, including the International Summit Creative Award, the Gold National Magazine Award of Canada, the Society for News Design Award, and the Luis Valtuena Award for Humanitarian Photography, Šlezic has contributed to The Guardian, The New York Times, British Journal of Photography, British Vogue, The Independent, Canadian Geographic Magazine, to name just a few. Forsaken is Šlezic’s first book.