Unordinary Lives” through August 31, 2013
Hours by Appointment:
Famed Slovenian photojournalist Ms. Manca Jancan spent a number of years in the last decade in Afghanistan and Iran in order to document the effect of thirty (30) years of war upon daily life. Her body of work entitled “Unordinary Lives” reflects the pathos and ravages of the human spirit but also the resilience and perseverance of the Afghan people. This exhibit, recently on display in Washington D. C. at the Slovenian Embassy, is on loan to the Slovenian Museum and Archives through efforts of the Consul General, Mr. Jure Zmauc.
Heartbreak and hope live side-by-side in photos of orphans of war and working street children who support their families each day at market. Jancan’s photos tell the shadow story of the lives of Afghans as refugees without official citizen or worker status eking out survival in Iran, lost to their homeland, while other Afghans struggle to survive in tent cities at home as displaced persons.
Jancan’s dramatic and stunning photos tell of forgotten mental health issues such as individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and mental illness as a result of loss of family through death, and displacement at loss of home and employment, based upon village bombings. Other photos decry the effects of drugs like heroin, which constitute more than half of the state budget, based upon profit from the illegal drug business of the poppy fields.
Jancan also tells of the struggles of women who survive prison and live invisible, forgotten lives, disowned by husbands and family due to the perceived cultural dishonor of divorce or adultery. Lastly, Jancan portrays the disparity of the lives of the privileged few, those Afghans successfully prospering as a result of governmental reform and international aid that are finally taking hold, e.g. women in parliament, girls in school.
Submitted by Arlene F. Mole, Slovenian Museum and Archives Board Member
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