THE BLOG
10/28/2014 04:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Power of Visionary Women

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Too young to wed, 2011
Nujood Ali in Yemen , seeking a divorce at 10 years old, by photographer Stephanie Sinclair

Capturing a moment with a picture. Eleven female photojournalists have been documenting the lives of women in different corners of the world in the XXI century. In a time of reflection, of awareness, of historical moments captured by a camera in remote areas of the planet, where life conditions are completely out of our thoughts. Pictures of child marriages, women as military and trained police corps, vulnerable families, women and their children living in poor conditions and war and food challenges. On one side, there are strong women equipped with their cameras, bringing back knowledge to us, making us see and think about the lives we lead every day. On the other one, women in the emerging and developing countries: brave, resilient and strong to lead their lives with dignity and respect, feeding their kids and trying to ensure a decent life for them. It is not only about human lives, it is about empowerment, awareness, conscious lives and the power of the images to make an impact on our lives. To take action for building a better world.

Curious, animated by the desire to know, to see and to give a voice to the voiceless, these passionate women use images as a powerful tool to pass on the message. It is about participation and access. "It Is about the human connection, like falling in love," photojournalist Kitra Cahana said during a joint National Geographic interview commenting on the aim of the exhibition.

Thanks to the eyes of these photojournalists, I feel so much closer to all these women portrayed. I do not exactly know where they all come from, but I know for sure they are my sisters. I feel they are like me, they share my same feelings, wishes and needs, my same fire and desire for equality and my eagerness to laugh with friends, in complete freedom and without fears. Women that, like me, search fulfillment in work, aspire to a joyful life for themselves and for their families; they may be pursuing my same passions to love and to be loved, to give affection and to ensure mutual respect between members of society. They are aware of their rights and responsibilities in society and wish to build a stronger society by actively participating in the public sphere and in decision-making processes.

If this world is interconnected, what can we do to help them and what can they teach us? We are riding the same big life train but for some reason we happen to be in the fancy train cars, and they get to see and experience the dirty ones. This is not fair. While living we should battle alongside them, so that they live in the same conditions. It is also part of our job to ensure that they get to ride safely and with good opportunities for growing and thriving. We can build new cars. We need new ones. At the same time, by looking in their eyes, they teach us that the beauty of life is in simple things, in a smile, in a hug, in preparing food for a loved one. They are extraordinary ordinary people, where reality teaches us that everything is a hidden treasure, if we know where to look.

I warmly invite you to visit the exhibition on a weekend at Cranbrook Institute of Science or at Palazzo Madama, depending if you are in the US ( Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) or in Europe (Torino, Italy).