Silent Exodus

PhotographerYseult Chehata
PrizeSilver in Book (series Only) / Documentary
Entry Description

In Silent Exodus (Aperture, November 2008), renowned photojournalist and former Afghan refugee Zalmaï 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, Zalmaï 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, Zalmaï’s 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. Aperture—located in New York’s Chelsea art district—is 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. Aperture’s 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 Photographer

Aperture—a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to advancing photography in all its forms—was founded in 1952 by six gifted individuals: photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall. With scant resources, these visionary artists created a new periodical, Aperture magazine, to serve photographers and photography enthusiasts worldwide. As the medium flourished, so too did Aperture Foundation, expanding to include the subsequent publication of books (over four hundred to date); limited-edition photographs and portfolios; artist lectures and symposia; and a traveling exhibitions program that since its inception has presented over one hundred exhibitions at major museums and cultural institutions throughout the United States and abroad.