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by Lana Slezic
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In March 2004, when award-winning photographer Lana Slezic 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, Slezic photographed women all over the country. Over endless cups of tea in sitting rooms from city to village, she learned that Afghan women are still living in a harrowingly oppressive society where forced marriage, domestic violence, honour 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 Slezic's journey over the two-year period during which she lived and worked in Afghanistan.
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