Taken be­hind the veil

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Listings - AIDAN DUNNE

FOR­SAKEN Sir­ius Arts Cen­tre, Cobh, Co Cork Un­til Apr 6 021-481370

The Cana­dian-born pho­tog­ra­pher Lana Slezic spent many child­hood hol­i­days with her grand­par­ent in Croa­tia, ex­pe­ri­ences that she re­gards as ab­so­lutely for­ma­tive. In 2004, she opted to travel to Afghanistan on a six-week tour but, in the event, she stayed for two years. What kept her was her in­ter­est in the plight of women there. “I naively an­tic­i­pated the women and girls would be more in­de­pen­dent, more ed­u­cated, less op­pressed than they ac­tu­ally were.”

She found that most girls are de­nied ed­u­ca­tion and grow up il­lit­er­ate. Many women are not al­lowed to leave their own homes. “Girls are bought and sold to solve land and mone­tary dis­putes.”

Her book For­saken, doc­u­ment­ing her time in Afghanistan ex­plor­ing the re­al­i­ties of life for women and girls, forms the ba­sis for this ex­hi­bi­tion, or­gan­ised in cel­e­bra­tion of In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day. Her pho­to­graphs are su­perb.

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