Emerging Photographer Fund – 2012 Runner up
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ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT
EPF 2012 Finalist
Afterdark. Consequences of War on Women in the Gaza Strip
I reached the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the first time in 2010, on assignement with a friend journalist, to document the condition of palestinian women in the Gaza Strip. At that time, we had the access to the Gaza Strip denied by the Israeli Government. To me it was a big surprise, so I decided to spend a couple of months in Jerusalem and the West Bank in order to see and understand more of the social and political situation in Israel and the Occupied Territories. That was the beginning of my long-term project about the consequences of war on women’s lives, Afterdark.
A few months later I got the permission to enter the Gaza Strip, where I stayed as a whole around three months, documenting the aftermath of Cast Lead Operation (ended in 2009) and the life of women in the extremely complex contest of the Strip.
Women in Gaza suffer of a double pressure: the isolation from the outside world imposed by Israeli blockade, with all the economical, physical and psychological consequences, and, on the other hand, the worsening of women’s human rights conditions under Hamas government, heading towards an effective gender separation.
Through the stories of the women I met, I am trying to understand what actually happens when a military operation is declared a success, how is the return to normality of life, and which normality can be actually restored, in order to avoid to forget the real human toll of any war.
The funding of this project would help me return to the Gaza Strip on a regular basis for the next year, since I’m planning to follow up with the stories of five of the women I met on my first trip, all of them suffering both physically and psychologically from the traumas they experienced during the war. It would also allow me to start the production of a short documentary about their everyday lives in Gaza, related to the development of the social and political situation in the Strip.
Simona Ghizzoni was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 1977.
She studied with Giorgia Fiorio in Reflexions Masterclass and attended the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.
In 2006 she tied for first prize at the FNAC photo contest, with the work “Scars”, an essay on Sarajevo ten years after the end of the war.
From 2006 to 2010 she worked on the project “Odd Days”, about Eating Disoders.
Awarded with the 3rd prize single portrait at World Press Photo 2008 and PHotoEspaña Ojodepez Award for Human Values in 2009.
Since 2010 she began a long term project about the consequences of war on women’s lives, working on Iraqi refugees in Jordan, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and in Western Sahara, thanks to The Aftermath Project.
With the project “Afterdark”, about the condition of female victims of Cast Lead operation in the Gaza Strip, she was awarded with the 3rd prize Contemporary Isssues at World Press Photo 2012.