Filtering by Category: Women

"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

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.

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.

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.”