4 exhibitions, 4 projects, 4 countries!

Added on by Annie Ling.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around how all of this is happening at once. It's often said that once you put your work out there, it begin to have a life of their own. Without the support of those who believe in our work, we would truly never be able to give our work the audience it deserves. So a big shout out and thank you to everyone behind these exhibitions!

Three personal projects spanning ten years are concurrently on view in three countries—Iceland, Latvia, Hungary, and a fourth exhibition is on its way here at home in NYC! I'm thrilled to announced an upcoming group show I'm privilege to be part of along with Thomas Holton and An Rong Xu opening next month at The Museum of the City of New York:

Upcoming Exhibition: 

INTERIOR LIVES: CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHINESE NEW YORKERS
CMNY. Manhattan, NY, USA
Group exhibition coming soon: October 26, 2018 - March 24, 2019

Current Exhibitions:

OPEN HOUSE: MOMENTS FROM THE LIFE OF ASYLUM SEEKERS IN ICELAND
Gerðuberg Culture House. Reykjavik, Iceland
Solo exhibition on view now: May 4 - *extended* till September 16, 2018

INFINITE SAUVAGE: ISSP 2018 EXHIBITION IN KULDĪGA SAVVAĻA
Kuldīgas Mākslas Nams. Kuldiga, Latvia
Group exhibition on view now: August 4 - September 9, 2018

AWHERENESS: HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN ROMANIA AND MOLDOVA
Grand Cafe. Szeged, Hungary
Solo exhibition on view now: August 11 - September 30, 2018

"Open House" Exhibition at Gerðuberg Culture House, Reykjavik

Added on by Annie Ling.

My series Open House is currently on view as a solo exhibition in Reykjavik all summer long, coinciding with this year's Nordic Conference Roots & Wings. If you're flocking to Iceland for the summer, hope you can stop by! 

"Moments From The Life Of Asylum Seekers In Iceland" will be at Gerðuberg Culture House until the end of August. The Culture House hours are Monday to Thursday from 10:00-18:00 and Friday from 11:00-18:00. 

LING_OpenHouse_08.jpg

Tribeca/Chinatown NYC pop-up show: "Between Here and Home"

Added on by Annie Ling.

Over the years, my work with immigrant communities and refugees dove into the nuances of home and identity in flux. Unsurprisingly perhaps, these themes have long marked my own journey of displacement and loss. When the opportunity came to participate in a pop-up group exhibition aptly named "Between Here and Home",  I decided it was time to unveil new work that resulted from recent attempts to dig deeper into my personal experience. And so, I'm pleased to present never before seen images from my recent travels along the Silk Road in China, along with an installation of diaristic 16mm and Super 8mm films from NYC. Please stop by, otherwise I hope we'll get a chance to connect another way in person.

 From the series:  Double Take . 2016. Chromogenic prints. ©Annie Ling

From the series: Double Take. 2016. Chromogenic prints. ©Annie Ling

Between Here and Home | curated by Alan Chin
December 12, 2017 - January 7, 2018
384 Broadway, New York, NY

Opening Reception: Friday, December 15, 6 - 9pm

Exhibition Open Hours: 
Tuesday - Wednesday, 10am - 4pm
Thursday - Friday, 10am - 7pm
Saturday - Sunday, 2 - 7pm
Closed for Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.

What does it mean to be Chinese in the contemporary moment of technological transformation as well as dangerous nationalist imagery? In Between Here and Home, seven photographers — one Chinese, three American-born-Chinese, one who emigrated to Queens from China as a young child, a Taiwanese Canadian, and a Filipina who has worked in Hong Kong — share their perspectives on various aspects of Chinese life and culture, both in China and in the diaspora, including New York City’s Chinatowns. They document traditional communities facing tremendous change, personal journeys of discovery, and political conflict. 

"Open House" exhibition walkthrough in Djúpavík, Iceland

Added on by Annie Ling.

The old herring factory in Djúpavík (tucked in the remote West Fjords of Iceland) provides an inspiring setting to debut my latest photo series from Iceland: OPEN HOUSE

Each year, the population of roughly 300,000 inhabitants in Iceland triples with tourists arriving from around the globe seeking breathtaking vistas and itineraries packed with otherworldly tours of lava-fields, glaciers, and waterfalls. This year, an unprecedented seven hundred asylum seekers are expected to arrive in the island nation just south of the Arctic Circle, doubling last year’s count. The majority end up in Iceland after their intended destination to the United States, Canada, or the UK is denied. A few sheltered in hostels among tourists and the rest isolated, asylum seekers predominately from the Balkans and the Middle East wait months before few are granted residency. How do asylum seekers experience Iceland in limbo? How do resettled refugees adapt and make a home here? Is this paradise or is this purgatory?

"Passage" Group Show at Photo Gallery Brussels — Oct 7th-23rd

Added on by Annie Ling.

This exhibition celebrates the 10th anniversary of Photo Gallery Asblvzw, a beautiful non-profit space and education center in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. It's an honor to be exhibiting my series "Independent Mothers" along works by Sébastien deVille, Yenci Kiss, Valentina Stellino, and Constantin Schlachter.

Five years on the Syrian conflict

Added on by Annie Ling.

In 2014, displaced Syrians in neighboring southern Turkey welcomed me into their temporary homes. I met widows who shared not just their fear of the future for their families but also shared what little they have left to help other Syrians in need. Determined peers worn down by war considered the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in search of stability and acceptance. In midst of trauma and rage over the senseless cost of the conflict, there was a serious display of illegitimi non carborundum style resilience and solidarity. 

Not long after, a partnership with ACTED, a french humanitarian NGO delivering emergency relief and logistical support internationally, led me to work in Syrian refugee camps and IDP (internally displaced people) camps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Witnessing thousands in limbo living off limited rations for years throw a feast together at a moment's notice when a new influx of long-traveled, tired and hungry Kobani refugees arrive at Kawergosk Camp was incredibly moving—something I'll never forget. 

When I returned home to New York and unpacked my gear, I struggled with the meaning of the limited time I was able to spend there. Recurring headlines and news footage from the conflict confirms what we already know—that this is one of the most desperate humanitarian crisis of our time. What spending time with Syrian friends confirmed for me however, is that relationships bridge divide and understanding. "A tragedy of this scale demands solidarity beyond funding. Put simply, we need more countries to share the load by taking a greater share of refugees from what has become the biggest displacement crisis of a generation," to quote Filippo Grandi, UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees.

As this conflict continues past its five year mark, I hope we will work harder to welcome and forge relationships with those on the outside. To isolate individuals is to isolate the tragedy and ultimately overlook our shared humanity.

Below are a few images from Syrian refugee camps in Iraq made in the fall of 2014:

"Independent Mothers" at the National Museum of Iceland

Added on by Annie Ling.

As my latest exhibition at the National Museum of Iceland / Þjóðminjasafn Íslands comes to a close next weekend, I must thank everyone involved in the project, the staff at the museum and the photo community in Reykjavík for the welcome, particularly visionaries of the Icelandic Photography Festival. What an honor to share this work with my "mothers" and their families, as well as countless other mothers who have since reached out to me since the unveiling of this series.

This monumental museum at the heart in Reykjavík has been the ideal venue for showcasing this work. Fielding questions from locals along with curious foreign visitors at the museum during my artist talk last month offered a tangible window into the kind of cross-cultural dialogue we could and should be having about gender equality, and how societies can change and adapt to the needs of the population. I'm proud of the fact that this series highlighting the strength and independence of single mothers in Iceland can bring to question the treatment of single mothers elsewhere in the global community.

Listen to my interview with National Public Radio of Iceland (RÚV) in English with Icelandic translation here: http://www.ruv.is/frett/sjalfstaedar-frekar-en-einstaedar-maedur

Uncle Lee (1926-2015)

Added on by Annie Ling.

When my Aunt Helen phoned me last week to say her husband had passed away from his long struggle with cancer, I traveled to Houston to be with her. For the past seven years, Helen was a devoted nurse and caretaker, never leaving his side when she wasn't working full-time as a drapery seamstress.

Lee lived a storied life and traversed the globe as a camera man working for Chinese TV stations. He loved to be in front of the camera however, just about as much as he loved working behind it. Enlarged photographs of Lee in his element hang on nearly every wall in every room at their home. I had spent a year living at this house when I was ten-years-old. Twenty years later, not much about this place has changed besides the notable addition of some memorabilia from the few vacations they've since taken together—personalized decorative plates from a floating market in Thailand; an Elvis wall clock from Nashville. The quintessential foil to my more introverted aunt, Lee was vivacious and outspoken with an enduring child-like enthusiasm and curiosity. 

Below are some images from my visit with them last summer, shortly before Uncle Lee could no longer speak or stand. Last time I saw him, he was eager to tell tales and share photographs from his youth. Then I remember a long silence, as he stared into his collection of memories. This afternoon, my aunt and I will bid a final tribute to her companion and remember him for the way he was, before his illness overtook him.

TNY Photo Booth Hall of Fame

Added on by Annie Ling.

My editor at The New Yorker informed me not long ago that Independent Mothers made it into Photo Booth's top ten hall of fame for most clicks, and was picked up by The New York Times in their “What We’re Reading” column. Internazionale in Italy and the Stuttgarter Zeitung in Germany was also quick to pick up the series. The overall response to this project has been overwhelming, and I believe the interest is due largely to the project's ability to highlight the strength and independence of single mothers in Iceland while bringing to question the treatment of single mothers elsewhere. Mere minutes after the post went online, the Embassy of Iceland in the US re-tweeted it, lauding "the strong women of Iceland", setting an example for the rest.

#Supercrawl2015 #FloatingPopulation

Added on by Annie Ling.

So grateful for an incredible exhibition and all who came out to the opening in Hamilton! None of this would have happened without good friends and volunteers who were willing to pitch in, assist with transportation, installation and take down of a epic show with near ninety images in one action-packed week in Canada. It's an honor to be named Alumni of the Year and receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Thanks RUC for your support of this exhibition!

A Floating Population at Hamilton SuperCrawl

Added on by Annie Ling.

Friends in Hamilton, Ontario and beyond, it's my pleasure to bring you an epic reincarnation of last year's solo exhibition "A Floating Population" at MOCA museum in NYC, this weekend only at #SuperCrawl2015 the largest art crawl event of the year!

Except this time the venue won't be a polished museum, the exhibition will be gloriously re-imagined in an expansive vacant furniture show room (formerly Ricca's Furniture) at the center of the one and only James St. in Hamilton with an expected near 200,000 art crawl attendees.

Around 90 images from "A Floating Population" will be on display Sept 11-12, for 2 days only! It takes much longer to transport and install the show, just to give you an idea of the scope of our ambition!

It's especially a joy and privilege to bring this show to Hamilton and to you, friends who have rallied and supported me through so much, but have not been able to travel long distances to shows in NY and abroad. This show is for you, and I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

OPENING RECEPTION:
This Friday, Sept 11th -- 7-9pm
245 James Street N., Hamilton, ON
*Street entrance to show on 2nd floor (above The Forge)

Links:
SUPERCRAWL
Hamilton Spectator feature
 

Independent Mothers - Debut Exhibition in Akureyri, Iceland

Added on by Annie Ling.

I had dreamed not long ago that I would find the ideal venue in Iceland to debut this personal project, on June 19th, 2015, the 100th anniversary date of Women's Suffrage in Iceland, when a number of women in the country were granted voting rights for the first time.

With utmost respect and gratitude for all the single mothers who welcomed me into their families and lives, sharing stories over meals and coffee, your generosity of spirit and nurture got me through during the dark winter months of Skammdegi this winter in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland.

Also, a special thanks to Listhús í Fjallabyggð in Ólafsfjörður and the fantastic Mjólkurbúðin Gallery... I could not have asked for better enablers and supporters of this work.

So, it is with great pleasure I say... the dream has been realized! And it's damn good to be back. More to come... and be sure to check back in a few days when the series will be up online. If you enjoyed following my experience of short winter days (see: New Yorker), you can now follow on Instagram as I share glimpses of long summer days touring Iceland!

Awhereness featured in Incandescent, Issue 7

Added on by Annie Ling.

Look for Awhereness in the latest issue of Incandescent, a color film zine published by Pine Island Press, Portland Oregon. It is now available for purchase online, in these shops, and at the LA Zine Fest in a couple weeks! Don't miss the series on view in the Take Ten exhibition along with the work of nine other women photographers at ICP's Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery in New York City.

"Awhereness" project featured today on Feature Shoot

Added on by Annie Ling.

Thank you Feature Shoot and Sukruti Anah Staneley for writing this feature! Excerpt from FS:

"For her work Awhereness, Annie Ling, a Taipei-born photographer from New York, spent two months traveling through parts of Romania and Moldova to meet with the survivors of sex trafficking and listen to their stories. Using a medium format camera, Ling tries to eschew sensational images and instead approaches her subjects with a sense of quiet, acting as a listener. Through her project, she focuses on where trafficking happens and how people overcome this chapter in their life. Ling’s work traces the effect of such spaces on these women and how it shapes them."

Awhereness is currently on view as part of Take Ten, a group exhibition at ICP, from January 17 – March 15, 2015.


Two exhibition openings tomorrow: New York City / Ólafsfjörður

Added on by Annie Ling.

Friends, it's my pleasure to invite you to the opening tomorrow of two groups shows I'm excited to be part of. I'll be in Ólafsfjörður but will celebrate in spirit in NYC also, with my project Awhereness in the company of strong works by women photographers who are dear friends and colleagues. Don't miss it!

In NYC:
Take Ten
School at ICP, 1114 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York
On View: January 17–March 15, 2015
Opening Reception: January 16 | Friday | 6 pm
Ten photographers, all alumnae of the School at ICP's Full-Time Programs, tackle critical issues facing women and children today, from sex trafficking in Eastern Europe to child beauty contests, racial identity, personal loss, and digital identities.

In Ólafsfjörður:
Skammdegishátíð 2015
Listhús í Fjallabyggð Gallery, Ægisgata 625, Ólafsfjörður, Iceland
On View: January 17-25, 2015 | 5-8 pm Every Thursday to Sunday
Opening Reception:
16 January | 8-11 pm
Listhus artists in residence present a multi-disciplinary exhibition of work created during the dark winter, featuring individual reflections on local encounters, mysterious landscapes and indoor living in North Iceland.

#SKAMMDEGI project featured in TNY Photo Booth

Added on by Annie Ling.

Thanks @newyorkerphoto for a fun collaboration on Instagram this past week, and thanks to all of you for the great response and feedback. I had an absolute blast! The adventure isn't over quite yet... I've resumed #SKAMMDEGI posts at @annielingphoto. Check out the work featured today on TNY Photo Booth!

This Week: Instagram Takeover @newyorkerphoto

Added on by Annie Ling.

Starting today, for the week of January 5-11, I will be taking over The New Yorker magazine's Instagram feed, posting images from Ólafsfjörður and around, exploring the environs and recording my discoveries during my Skammdegi / dark winter, or short sunlight winter residency at Listhús í Fjallabyggð.

Follow me on @newyorkerphoto and @annielingphoto for the duration of my winter residency in northern Iceland!!

In the meantime, here's a little video I made in Siglufjörður (a slightly larger town 15 minutes north of Ólafsfjörður) on New Year's Eve with new friends ringing the new year!

Skammdegi / Dark winter

Added on by Annie Ling.

Tomorrow, I'll be embarking on a wild, new adventure and challenge. As a recipient of the Skammdegi AIR Award (and my first artist residency to date), I can't help but confess that utter thrill mixed with mild fear is setting in as I prepare to leave the sunshine behind for two months of cold, dark isolation in northern Iceland. Brrrrr just thinking about it.

Skammdegi in Icelandic means dark winter or short sunlight winter.  December 21 is the shortest day in Iceland. The sunlight is from 11am to 3pm only.  Listhús í Fjallabyggð where I'll be based is located in Olafsfjordur, north Iceland, which is surrounded by mountains. That means during December and January, the sun never can rise up higher than the mountains. As a result, the lands are always covered by a mysterious reflective lighting. Amazing, right?

This newly established award will allow me to maximize the possibility of working in dark winter. I've got several ideas I'm pumped to explore and some exciting things lined up. But I'm predicting what's really going to keep me from going mad will be the chance to engage, learn from and collaborate with ten other incredible multidisciplinary artists joining in on the fun, also flying in from afar this winter. 

Alright, I gotta get back to packing! Looking forward to posting updates from there, so stay tuned. Things are about to get interesting... 

 

The aftermath of the Syrian conflict

Added on by Annie Ling.

This September, I had the privilege of meeting and working with displaced Syrian women seeking refuge in neighboring Turkey. Their stories and resilience is moving, and being a witness to women supporting women in displaced communities is what I hope to continue doing, as soon as I can find more funding and support to go back and expand the work in other neighboring countries.

In the meantime, here is a first preview of the beginning of this ongoing project, which was made possible thanks to the NYFA Photography Fellowship

  Zayid, 3-days-old. His father and 4-year-old brother went for haircuts nine months ago in Aleppo and never returned home.


Zayid, 3-days-old. His father and 4-year-old brother went for haircuts nine months ago in Aleppo and never returned home.

  Three days before Zayid was born, I met Souad (pictured right), 23-years-old from Aleppo, with her eldest daughter (left) and two other children in a shelter for Syrian widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Souad was married at 15 to a distant relative who tortured her. Nine months ago, her husband and son went missing during a bombing and Souad believes she would never see them again. Without documents, she smuggled into Turkey  five months ago  with her three remaining children and a fourth son on the way, seeking support and work to provide for her family.


Three days before Zayid was born, I met Souad (pictured right), 23-years-old from Aleppo, with her eldest daughter (left) and two other children in a shelter for Syrian widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Souad was married at 15 to a distant relative who tortured her. Nine months ago, her husband and son went missing during a bombing and Souad believes she would never see them again. Without documents, she smuggled into Turkey five months ago with her three remaining children and a fourth son on the way, seeking support and work to provide for her family.

  Ragda (36) and her 7-months pregnant daughter Nora (19) at a shelter for widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Ragda lost her husband and two sons in a barrel bomb attack in her old neighborhood in Syria. "We cannot make plans for our future until Syria is whole again." - Ragda S.


Ragda (36) and her 7-months pregnant daughter Nora (19) at a shelter for widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Ragda lost her husband and two sons in a barrel bomb attack in her old neighborhood in Syria. "We cannot make plans for our future until Syria is whole again." - Ragda S.

  Kilis, a Turkish city near the border with Syria has experienced a significant influx of Syrian refugees in recent years. 


Kilis, a Turkish city near the border with Syria has experienced a significant influx of Syrian refugees in recent years. 

  Syrian women refugees at a beauty school in a center offering job training for displaced Syrians looking for work in Kilis, Turkey. 


Syrian women refugees at a beauty school in a center offering job training for displaced Syrians looking for work in Kilis, Turkey. 

  Ibtesam (40), an english teacher from Aleppo, fled to Kilis seeking medical help after a bomb dropped on her home  killed her 11-year-old daughter Iman and left her other daughter Aya (14) injured with a broken skull and consequently amnesia. "I lived a normal and simple life in Syria" says Ibtesam, who was pro-revolution because she wanted a better life for her children. Now, she visits the center for displaced Syrian women in Kilis daily to learn hairdressing, in hopes of finding work to support her family. Ibtesam's name in Arabic means "smile".


Ibtesam (40), an english teacher from Aleppo, fled to Kilis seeking medical help after a bomb dropped on her home  killed her 11-year-old daughter Iman and left her other daughter Aya (14) injured with a broken skull and consequently amnesia. "I lived a normal and simple life in Syria" says Ibtesam, who was pro-revolution because she wanted a better life for her children. Now, she visits the center for displaced Syrian women in Kilis daily to learn hairdressing, in hopes of finding work to support her family. Ibtesam's name in Arabic means "smile".

  Omsami (meaning "mother of Sami") 55-years-old from the countryside of Aleppo currently lives with her daughter-in-law and four grandchildren at a shelter for Syrian widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Here, she caresses a photograph of her son Sami who was killed by the Assad regime while fighting for the FSA (Free Syrian Army) nearly two years ago. 


Omsami (meaning "mother of Sami") 55-years-old from the countryside of Aleppo currently lives with her daughter-in-law and four grandchildren at a shelter for Syrian widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. Here, she caresses a photograph of her son Sami who was killed by the Assad regime while fighting for the FSA (Free Syrian Army) nearly two years ago. 

  Azza (19) and her sister Lamiaa (20) left Aleppo with their family in 2011 because of bombing in their neighborhood. They hope to continue studies in medicine, but their savings have dried up since leaving Syria and they have no work and income to continue their education or support their seven younger brothers. "Our father is very angry because he cannot make his family happy, and mother is sad because she cannot give the boys what they ask for." - Lamiaa A.


Azza (19) and her sister Lamiaa (20) left Aleppo with their family in 2011 because of bombing in their neighborhood. They hope to continue studies in medicine, but their savings have dried up since leaving Syria and they have no work and income to continue their education or support their seven younger brothers. "Our father is very angry because he cannot make his family happy, and mother is sad because she cannot give the boys what they ask for." - Lamiaa A.

  Iman, 51-years-old from Damascus, battled a serious case of cancer in her backbone for 20 years until 2011 when she was miraculously healed. Her fight with cancer ended as the revolution and fighting began in Syria. As her neighborhood was stormed and civilians were massacred, she worked as a nurse to aid the injured, putting to practice everything she learned from years of undergoing cancer treatment as a hospitalized patient. 


Iman, 51-years-old from Damascus, battled a serious case of cancer in her backbone for 20 years until 2011 when she was miraculously healed. Her fight with cancer ended as the revolution and fighting began in Syria. As her neighborhood was stormed and civilians were massacred, she worked as a nurse to aid the injured, putting to practice everything she learned from years of undergoing cancer treatment as a hospitalized patient. 

  Iman reveals a scar from backbone cancer surgery. Her wound reopened in prison, where she was tortured and suffered electric shock in sensitive areas of her body for four months. Iman and her daughter were arrested on June 1st, 2013 by the regime when she was caught smuggling medical supplies, food and water to injured civilians.   


Iman reveals a scar from backbone cancer surgery. Her wound reopened in prison, where she was tortured and suffered electric shock in sensitive areas of her body for four months. Iman and her daughter were arrested on June 1st, 2013 by the regime when she was caught smuggling medical supplies, food and water to injured civilians.   

  Iman took advantage of her foreign appearance to smuggle supplies for civilians in need during the revolution. On April 13, 2014, Iman smuggled herself and two girlfriends into Turkey, looking for work and surviving off of $30USD monthly UN food vouchers. A social worker (also  a Syrian refugee)  found Iman and offered her a place to stay at her barely furnished apartment in Kilis. Here, she settles into an empty room with her backpack and few possessions.


Iman took advantage of her foreign appearance to smuggle supplies for civilians in need during the revolution. On April 13, 2014, Iman smuggled herself and two girlfriends into Turkey, looking for work and surviving off of $30USD monthly UN food vouchers. A social worker (also a Syrian refugee) found Iman and offered her a place to stay at her barely furnished apartment in Kilis. Here, she settles into an empty room with her backpack and few possessions.

  Fathya (25) from Azaz, Syria at a shelter for widows in Gaziantep. Fathya was married for eleven years to a man who treated her brutally with insults and beatings. Her husband and two sons died in the first barrel bombing attack on Syria in August 2012. Barrel bomb attacks throughout Syria have killed more than 20,000 people since the conflict began in March 2011. 


Fathya (25) from Azaz, Syria at a shelter for widows in Gaziantep. Fathya was married for eleven years to a man who treated her brutally with insults and beatings. Her husband and two sons died in the first barrel bombing attack on Syria in August 2012. Barrel bomb attacks throughout Syria have killed more than 20,000 people since the conflict began in March 2011. 

  A shelter for widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. 


A shelter for widows in Gaziantep, Turkey. 

  Fathya (25), suffers verbal and physical abuse from her younger 17-year-old brother, who has been designated by her family to keep an eye on her. When this image was made, she was waiting to hear if her family would accept a marriage proposal from a 60-year-old Turkish man to take Fathya on as a second wife. She does not want to marry again, but her family insists that she does and forbids her to study. "Maybe if I was educated, my whole life would be different." Fathya would go through a bad marriage again to escape her overprotective family. (Last I heard, a woman running this women's center had convinced Fathya's family to decline the Turkish man's proposal.)


Fathya (25), suffers verbal and physical abuse from her younger 17-year-old brother, who has been designated by her family to keep an eye on her. When this image was made, she was waiting to hear if her family would accept a marriage proposal from a 60-year-old Turkish man to take Fathya on as a second wife. She does not want to marry again, but her family insists that she does and forbids her to study. "Maybe if I was educated, my whole life would be different." Fathya would go through a bad marriage again to escape her overprotective family. (Last I heard, a woman running this women's center had convinced Fathya's family to decline the Turkish man's proposal.)

  Late afternoon in Kilis, a Turkish city near the Syrian border.


Late afternoon in Kilis, a Turkish city near the Syrian border.

The war in Syria has displaced more than 9 million internally while each day, families and a majority of Syrian women and children join the near 3 million seeking asylum in neighboring countries. Syria, the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today, now enters its fourth year. 

Gender-based violence, one of the world’s most widespread human rights violations and public health issues, escalates among displaced communities. As the Syrian refugee population continues to grow exponentially and resources have begun to diminish, harsh living conditions and circumstances impose a threat to young women who may face increased pressure to enter into early marriages. Women whose often forced reliance on male family members leave them isolated at home and removed from public safe-spaces to socialize. A UNHCR’s Participatory Assessment found “Women spoke openly about how their husbands were physically or emotionally abusive, with many stating that such behavior results from an increased level of tension due to poor living conditions and the current crisis in Syria.”