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Photo Essay: Women and War
Posted on Aug 22, 2012
By Marissa Roth
Editor’s note: For nearly three decades, Marissa Roth traveled from one war zone to another to capture images of the impact of war on women. Her project is called “One Person Crying: Women and War,” and is on exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles through Oct. 18.
“One Person Crying: Women and War,” is a 28-year, global photo essay that addresses the immediate and lingering effects of war on women. I undertook this personal project in an endeavor to reflect on war from what I consider to be an underreported perspective. It brought me face to face with hundreds of women who have endured and survived war and its ancillary experiences of loss, pain and unimaginable hardship. I traveled the world photographing, interviewing and writing down their war histories, capturing gestures and noting gruesome details, in order to document how their lives were irrevocably changed by this experience. Women are the touchstones for families and communities and are often relied upon to keep everything held together during a war or conflict. Afterwards, there is often no time for them to assess their own traumas, let alone speak of them in order to process the experience. I was compelled to put faces and give voices to the women’s side of war, with no judgment as to which war was worse for its survivors. There is no blood or any guns in the images, just the record of lives lived with a never-ending post-war backdrop. In the journey that became this unexpected odyssey, I was also able to reflect on my family’s war history, and make peace with the profound losses, most notably my paternal grandparents, who were killed in a massacre in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, in 1942.
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