These are beautiful, intriguing and powerful images seen through the lens of hope and positivity, which remind us that there is life beyond war for those who live amongst it. The eight selected photographers now present series of pictures that depict the daily lives of people living in times of revolution and war in countries like Afghanistan or Mali, which are not typically displayed and published by Western media.
Flore and Edmund, the founders of this inspiring project, explained to us how Ishkar Photography gives another opportunity to talented photographers from these countries by providing them a new exposure for their work: “Some were professionals working for news or advertising agencies, others were talented amateurs taking lower resolution photographs on their phones. War isolates talented individuals from the outside world. Aside from news agencies covering conflict, photographers from war-torn countries have few opportunities to sell their work.”
So how is Ishkar contributing to change this? “Our new platform is enabling them to reach a new global audience. Not only will this help photographers financially, much like our craft collections and our events, it will also enable us to show a side to war-torn countries rarely seen in the news. Photography has the ability to make deep connections with people and tell powerful stories that don’t require translation”, they continue.
This is precisely the big difference with the images we are used to seeing in Western media, which mainly cover wars from one point of view: that of tragedy, desolation and destruction. However, Ishkar Photography asked to show another side to it, one that conveys trust and hope, as one of the selected photographers, Manaf Azzam (Syria), confirms: “I see photos as dense messages that surpass borders in this world. Photos are able to reach any area without exception. During catastrophes, photos that carry hope or signal the continuation of life have the ability to touch people’s hearts because photos of death and destruction have become the standard. I have to note here that photos that document devastation and misery are very important and deliver the truth no matter how hard it is”.