Entry Title: "Silent Exodus"
Yseult Chehata
, United States
Category: Professional,

Entry Description:

In Silent Exodus (Aperture, November 2008), renowned photojournalist and former Afghan refugee Zalma chronicles the plight of Iraqi refugees who have fled to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. Over the course of several trips made to these countries in 2007, with the support of Human Rights Watch, Zalma interviewed refugee families, collected their individual stories, and photographed them in their homes, where many remain in uncertainty. Although faced with dwindling resources and increasing hardships, they are still afraid to return home, given the instability and violence that lingers in Iraq. Poignant yet powerful, Zalmas photographs reflect his ability to connect with his subjects on a very personal level and bring a rarely told and important story to a wider audience.

Aperturelocated in New Yorks Chelsea art districtis a world-renowned non-profit publisher and exhibition space dedicated to promoting photography in all its forms. Aperture was founded in 1952 by photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall, among others. These visionaries created a new quarterly periodical, Aperture magazine, to foster both the development and the appreciation of the photographic medium and its practitioners. In the 1960s, Aperture expanded to include the publication of books (over five hundred to date) that comprise one of the most comprehensive and innovative libraries in the history of photography and art. Apertures programs now include artist lectures and panel discussions, limited-edition photographs, and traveling exhibitions that show at major museums and arts institutions in the U.S. and internationally.

About the Artist:

ZALMA was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1964; his family settled in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he studied at the School of Creative Photography and at the Center of Professional Education in Photography, Yverdon. He has traveled widely, covering stories on topics such as Tibetan and Sudanese refugees, the fortieth anniversary of the Cuban revolution, and the plight of Central Africa's Pygmies, whose land is being destroyed through deforestation. His work has appeared in numerous group and solo shows, including an exhibition on victims of anti-personnel mines presented by the ICRC in twelve European cities. He has won several national and international prizes, among them the prestigious World Press Joop Swoop Master Class award and the Photo District News annual award for documentary photography. He divides his time between Geneva and New York. Zalma is a member of Association Focale, a cooperative of photographers based in Nyon, Switzerland.