Jenny Matthews


Since 1982 Jenny Matthews has worked as a photographer, and her reports on social issues have been published in Great Britain and abroad.

For twenty years she has been working on a photographic project portraying the lives of women in war situations, what happens to them after war breaks out and what happens once the war finishes. Women and War (2003) was published in Holland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Her project began in the Eighties, photographing refugees in El Salvador, indigenous groups in Guatemala and the socialist dream of Nicaragua, until the disarming of the guerrillas. In the Nineties she worked in the Middle East and Africa, investigating the role of women in the postcolonial wars of Mozambique and Angola; photographing the survivors of the genocide in Rwanda and the barbaric conflict of Sierra Leone, with its legacy of young mothers and mutilated women. In the last three years she has visited Chechnya, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Nepal: places where women try to maintain the family balance and educate their children, whilst surrounded by violence and terror. She went to Afghanistan four times; the first in 1988 during the Russian occupation, when women were working in the factories, going to university and even participating in the people's militias. In 1996 she visited the widows of Kabul, before the Taliban took over the city; survival was tough, but some were still working, and although the government forced them to wear a veil, they could still travel and sing. When she returned in 1998, they had been banned from singing. In December 2001 she returned to meet some of the women she had photographed earlier.

She has worked for major development organisations (Christian Aid, Action Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children) and her work has been published in the world's most famous newspapers and magazines.

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