Open Shutters Iraq.
Photographs by Eugenie Dolberg.
Trolley Books, London, 2009. 248 pp., Numerous illustrations, 8½x6¾".
Open Shutters Iraq is a book of nine photographic essays and writing by women from all over Iraq. The thread of contemporary Iraqi history emerges through their tales of war, sanctions, intifada, siege, kidnapping, grief, love, happiness, times of resistance, achievements and small triumphs. The women came from many different backgrounds and had no previous photographic experience. They were trained in photography and writing by the editor of the book, photographer Eugenie Dolberg. Dolberg, frustrated by the lack of journalistic access in Iraq and subsequent coverage of the war, decided to find a way for Iraqi women to tell their story in their own voices, the human reality of war, behind the collective headlines.
As Irada Zaydan, the Iraqi Project Manager, who quit her job as a professor at the University of Baghdad to work on this project and risked her life on several occasions says, 'This is not a project, this is a dream. A dream I wanted to live for my daughter. So she can grow up and understand what is truly happening now.' The collection is a unique insight into the lives of a group of women whose bravery and determination to create in a time of such immense destruction form a truly inspirational series.
Eugenie Dolberg is a photographer who developed Open Shutters to teach photography not only as a medium of documentation, but as a way to share ideas and emotional experiences. She lives between London and Tehran.