Sunday, 12 February 2012

Nadia Shira Cohen: Egypt, The Burned Earth

Photos © Nadia Shira Cohen-All Rights Reserved
“Mohammad, Mohammad, Mohammad,” she muttered. The words escaped just slightly under her breath as the tears began rolling down her face.

It's been a year and a day since Hosni Mubarak was forced out of office by the Egyptian people, and I thought it worthwhile to feature the work of Nadia Shira Cohen, which appeared in The New York Times a few days ago.

Her work focused on the Egyptian victims of the country’s so-called emergency law, principally by talking with them first, and then by photographing them.

Whilst Nadia's photographs and synopsis of her conversation, or interviews, with a handful of these victims appear on her website, her photographs also appear on the The New York Times' LENS blog.

All of her interviews are painful to read...but I thought the most poignant was that of the mother of Mohammed Attiah, who's bedridden with grief at the disappearance of her son some 18 years ago at the hands of the Egyptian police.  She has never stopped saying his name since then.

Nadia Shira Cohen pursued her passion for photography at the University of Vermont, with a semester abroad at the SACI school in Florence, Italy. She worked as a photographer in New York City for the Associated Press and for Sipa Press.  She then went on to work at the VII photo agency, then moved Rome, Italy where she continues to tell stories of the lives of people who interest her and which she compassionately feels the need to expose.