The story of a mother and daughter

Because it defines us immediately, the face takes primacy in our persona, it is with this in mind that I came away heartbroken and anguished from the world press photo exhibit at Brookfield Place . The photos can now be seen in Toronto at Scotiabank Contact festival at the Nikola Rukaj Gallery from May 10th to June 3rd. In a collection of compelling dramatic visuals and narrative that speak not only of our violent times but of the bravery and hope that still rises from that rubble, the story of Iranian young mother Somayeh Mehri and her infant daughter Rana left an indelible impression on me. Perhaps because I spend many hours working with magnified images of faces, there is always delight in a face no matter how aged, tired or unusual features. The face Samayeh and her daughter Rana show the world is now a scarred, disfigured mask. It is an exxagerated reversal of my before and after concept.There was a double evil inflicted on them, one for the young mother to have her visage damaged so that she perceives herself as a pariah and then to rob a child of the beauty that is universal to every child. The pictures convey loss and pain but also maternal love and I can picture Samayeh futively attempting to protect Rana from the burning acid. Most horrifying is the photographer’s assertion that these crimes are becoming more prevalent. The name of the photo essay is called “victims of forced love” by Ebrahim Noroozi

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