Arts & Culture Alliance Presents “Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives”
(01/14/2014/Knoxville) – The Arts & Culture Alliance proudly presents “Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives”, a new exhibition of photographs by Slovenian artist Manca Juvan. The 20 images in the exhibition portray civil society in Afghanistan. Juvan made several trips to the country between 2003 and 2009, documenting the lives of Afghans who, after the fall of the Taliban, had been promised much by the international community. Their lives, unfortunately, were little changed for the better. The images have been published in a book of the same title that aims to encourage continued discussion of Afghanistan, particularly of the daily lives of ordinary citizens who are usually omitted from the political/war discussions in the media. The photographs will be displayed in the Balcony of the Emporium Center from February 7 – March 1, 2014. A public reception will take place on Friday, February 7, from 5:00-9:00 p.m. with complimentary hors d’oeuvres available and chocolate fondue provided by the Melting Pot of Knoxville. The artist will be present for the opening reception.
“Despite the international community’s efforts to crush the Taliban regime in Afghanistan after 9/11, and its promises of bringing democracy and rebuilding to this war-torn nation, the ongoing war and instability continues to diminish the hopes of the Afghan people,” says Manca Juvan. “Stories on the lives of ordinary Afghans caught in this endless conflict of interest and the ongoing struggle for money, power, and overall control remind us what the real images of war and poverty, of lives far from ordinary, look like.” Prior to exhibition in Knoxville, the collection of images has been shown at Gallery MC in New York; Ljubljana Castle, Koroska Gallery of Fine Arts, STOLP Gallery, and Museum of Modern Art in Slovenia; Photomed festival in France; the Federal Parliament of Belgium; and the Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg. For more information on the “Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives” project, visit www.mancajuvan.com/unordinarylives.
Born 1981 in Slovenia, Manca Juvan has worked as a freelance photographer since 2000 after completing her studies at the Slovene School for Photography. She has been selected as Photographer of the Year in Slovenia for her reportage work in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and has been twice commended for her work on Afghanistan by the Slovenian Association of Journalists. Her book Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives was published by Sanje publishers in 2010 with an English edition following 2012. In 2011 she was chosen as one of three recipients of a scholarship for NYU/Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Rights Program. Juvan has published photographs and stories on Venezuela, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, India, the United States, Serbia and the EU countries, among others in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, National Geographic (Slovenia), Time.com, Marie Claire, and The European Voice. She is a member of the International Association of Photojournalists. She has worked as a mentor on photo documentary workshops and more recently university photography programs, and she prepared several solo exhibitions and participated in many group displays home and abroad. Her visit has been coordinated by the Embassy of Slovenia in Washington and Lydia Pulsipher, Professor of Geography, Emeritus, at UT and Honorary Consul for the Republic of Slovenia to Tennessee. For more information on Manca Juvan, visit www.mancajuvan.com.
“Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives” is on display February 7 – March 1, 2014 at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, downtown Knoxville. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Saturday, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. For more information, please contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543, or visit our website at www.knoxalliance.com.