An Emotional Portrayal of Women’s Lives in Afghanistan on View at the Westport Arts Center

Lynsey Addario uses her camera to speak for the people she photographs. She documents the issues and events on the periphery of war, capturing the emotions as a way to draw in the viewer. Ms. Addario, who is a Westport native and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, has traveled to war torn countries such as Afghanistan, Sudan, and Libya, to focus her lens on the effects of war. Her stunning photographs will be featured in “On The Wire: Veiled Rebellion” this winter at the Westport Arts Center. This exquisite exhibition will showcase 34 color photographs by Ms. Addario, depicting the plight of women in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Throughout her numerous visits, Ms. Addario has trained a close eye through her lens on women’s lives in all areas of Afghan society: culture, politics, education, employment, and domestic life. “Veiled Rebellion” was originally published in National Geographic in December 2010.

“’On the Wire: Veiled Rebellion’ follows the Westport Arts Center’s exhibitions ‘On Duty’ and ‘Chuck Close: About Face,’ which depict investigation and photographic documentation as art form,” says Helen Klisser During, Westport Arts Center Visual Arts Director and curator. “Each one of Lynsey’s images tells a story that conveys a full range of emotions. Lynsey Addario, in my opinion, is a photographer who not only documents but also touches the emotional core of the viewer through her work. She consistently photographs with rawness, honesty, and sensitivity.”

Lynsey Addario: Afghan Woment
Lynsey Addario: Afghan Woment

Ms. Addario has traveled throughout Afghanistan to capture the images featured in “On The Wire: Veiled Rebellion.” Her photographs explore the differences of the lives of women living within the same country. The series depicts births and operations in a hospital in Faizabad, women graduating from Kabul University, and female boxers training for the 2012 Summer Olympics. She has traveled with mobile health clinics, American soldiers, and Abiba Sarabi, the only female governor in Afghanistan. Several of her photographs detail the training of Afghan women by Italian Carabinieri to become police officers. In the photographs, the women shoot AMD-65 rifles at a firing range. Few Afghan women train to be police, about 700 out of 100,000, but their presence is welcome, as many men cannot perform certain tasks due to Islamic custom, such as frisking other women.

Ms. Addario, who is now based in London, England, grew up in Westport, CT and is a graduate of Staples High School. She photographs for The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine. She was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the ‘Genius Grant,’ in 2009 and, along with a team from the New York Times, won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for her photographs in “Talibanistan,” in 2008. Her passion for photography has sent her all over the world and placed in her the middle of several wars. In 2011, Lynsey and fellow Westport native and international photographer Tyler Hicks were kidnapped in Libya with two other journalists, Stephen Farrell, and the late Anthony Shadid. The four co-wrote an article for The New York Times detailing their time as captives. While covering the Libyan revolution they were captured outside of Ajdabiya by soldiers loyal to Muammar Qaddafi and held captive for several days.

Visitors to the Westport Arts Center can hear Lynsey Addario speak about her work on January 25th, 2014 from 3 – 5pm where she will discuss topics presented in the exhibition. The opening reception for “On the Wire: Veiled Rebellion” will be held at the Westport Arts Center on January 24, 2014 from 6-8pm.

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