Event: The Virtual Coffee Table: Photobooks in the Digital Age
Bio: Lana Šlezić was born to Croatian parents in Toronto. She studied photojournalism and interned at the Magnum Photo Agency in New York, then worked on contract for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star before going freelance. Her clients include the New York Times, Paris Match, National Geographic, The Sunday Times Magazine and a host of others. Forsaken is her first book of photography.
Book: Forsaken, House of Anansi
Synopsis: In March 2004, award-winning Canadian photographer Lana Šlezić went to Afghanistan with, in her own words, preconceived notions and a knapsack full of naivety. She believed the ousting of the Taliban in 2001 meant that girls were back at school, women had discarded the burka, and the environment was less oppressive for women. What Šlezić discovered about the truth prompted her to lengthen a six week assignment into a two-year stay. During that time, Šlezić travelled quietly and unobtrusively through many regions of Afghanistan, talking to women and girls who were willing to tell her their stories. With its searing stories and heart stopping, full-colour images, Forsaken allows some of these women to speak directly to us, and in the process attempts to redress the imbalance in the conversation.