By Silvia Alessi
India, 2017

Shabnam, works in Agra, the town of the Taj Mahal, at Sheroes Hangout, a bar run by women who have experienced acid attacks. The photograph is an intimate portrait of a woman and her daughter framed with a dark background and close crop. The image is the result of a spontaneous moment when the daughter came to give her mother a ‘kiss’. From the time of the incident, Shabnam wanted to show her face to raise awareness about the crime of acid attacks -  a widespread crime on the Indian subcontinent. She wants to be called a survivor, not a victim. Perpetrators of acid attacks want to force their victims to withdraw from life, so instead Shabnam survives, she carries on and she bears witness. Her dignity and strength is evident in the image.

Silvia Alessi is an awarded photographer, born in Bergamo, Italy. Her main interest lies in documentary photography. With a strong commitment to ethics and collaboration, she engages with real people and stories to depict their narratives.

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