Gender Violence Through the Eyes of a Fashion Photographer

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From the Eyeteeth blog:

A former fashion photographer now doing documentary work, Izabella Demavlys writes in her artist’s statement that “to illustrate a deeper definition of female beauty, I photograph women whose pictorial beauty radiates from their accomplishment, character and personal struggles.” Her latest series, “Without a Face,” offers a direct and profoundly affecting kind of beauty: portraits of Pakistani women healing after attacks by men wielding kerosene oil or battery acid. One, 20-year-old Memona, was attacked by a boy on her way to school; she’s undergone some 30 reconstructive surgeries. Saira was burned by her husband for refusing to move in with him. According to Demavlys, 400 women in Lahore alone are currently awaiting surgery from such attacks.

In an arresting interview with Paul Schmelzer, Demavlys explains her latest work:

I was going around in circles for many years making meaningless work. Meaningless and uninspiring for others and myself. When I saw a story about a young girl, an acid burn victim working as a beautician in Pakistan last year, I immediately thought, “This is a person I need to meet.” I thought this woman stood for everything I wanted to express with my work. I never went to Pakistan with a fear that I would reduce them by photographing them, but rather feared that I wouldn’t be able to enhance them enough, showing what a source of inspiration they really are to me and to be able to convey that to others. To not show these photographs to the world would be to deprive them of their courage for sitting down for a portrait and later telling me their stories.

Source: Eyeteeth

Image courtesy of Izabella Demavlys.

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