Photographs by Lisen Stibeck. Essay by Mary Ellen Mark.
Umbrage Editions, 2013. 104 pp., 50 black & white illustrations, 12x8½".
All women are not mothers, but all women are daughters, and this challenging study of young women from all over the world—from privilege to poverty, from Iceland to Indonesia, asks us, and the striking subjects of the photographs who look at us with such directness, to reconsider the relationship, both its origins and its aftermath.
It is not only adolescence, the teenage years, that create the cauldron of identity, but rather that formative time that comes later, in the early twenties, when a girl has truly left the parental sheltering wings and is on her own. This is the period that poses the greatest risks and challenges, and marks the moment of defining self.
Swedish photographer Lisen Stibeck asked the question of her subjects and heard their stories: varied, some difficult, some inspirational. Some full of ambition, some of those ambitions cloud dreams, unrealizable. Her photographs capture something miraculously beautiful and at the same time deeply vulnerable in their sense of possibility and their hesitation. They are a homage . . . but also a prayer.
As a result of many of these encounters Stibeck now funds a home for young women in Marrakesh. The royalties from the sale of this book will support continuing education and training programs there.
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