Jenny Matthews

Afghanistan: Facial De-recognition

Here are featured 16 images from a series of 35, each dedicated to  the many women and girls in Afghanistan who have seen their dreams crumble and their opportunities dashed. “I was shocked when the Taliban took over control of Afghanistan in August 2021 and these images are about Afghan women losing their identities. As girls are denied education and women lose their jobs in most sectors, I have printed photos from my archive onto linen/cotton, painted out the background in the original photos with block colours of acrylic paint and then added embroidery to both honour and disguise, and differentiate between past and present”.

About the Artist

Artist Website

Since 1982 Jenny Matthews has been documenting social issues in Britain and abroad. Over 20 years she produced work on the theme of Women and War which resulted in a book and touring exhibition in 2003. Matthews has continued to document the lives of women in places affected by conflict. During Covid 19 she started making photo quilts by selecting images from her own archive, printing them on cotton, adding embroidery to some and sewing the images together. Each ‘quilt’ represents a country during conflict (eg Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq) or a social issue (Refugees, Protest ). Matthews was one of the founder members of Format Women’s Photo Agency in 1983, and then a member of Network Photographers. She is currently part of Panos Photographers.