SVETLANA BACHEVANOVA | Women News Network
A new and alarming trend in some assaults has been carefully documented by award winning photojournalist Vlad Sokhin, who exposes an ancient form of violence against women in the region.
“Women told me their stories; many of which just shocked me,” said Sokhin, the founder and publisher of Fotoevidence, an acclaimed online archive that also hosts The Fotoevidence Book Award.
Through the award, Fotoevidence recognises each year, “a documentary photographer whose project demonstrates courage and commitment in addressing a violation of human rights, a significant injustice or an assault on human dignity.”
Growing up as a Russian/Portuguese photographer, Sokhin currently lives in Sydney. In March 2012 he was recognised as the winner of the 2012 FotoEvidence Book Award.
In his in-depth documentation of social injustice against women, Sokhin has not shied away from an honest and at times hard look at violent acts against women in PNG.
These women have been on the receiving end of a system where 80% of all violence against women is unpunished.
“If you dig deep beneath the pain of Sokhin’s images you can find compassion and a rising sense of outrage in the desperate needs for protection of all women,” says WNN – Women News Network founder and editor-at-large Lys Anzia.
Sokhin’s project Crying Meri was selected for a screening at Visa Pour L’Image 2012 in Perpignan, France. His photos have also been displayed by a United Nations educational campaign in Papua New Guinea, addressing the issue of violence against women.
Hellen Alphons, 38, walks with a rudimentary crutch outside her home. She lost her leg in 2005 in a fight with her drunken husband, Alai Kawa, when he chopped her right leg with a bushknife in front of their young children.
Kawa was arrested but, after treatment, Hellen left her home fearing her husband's release. When she returned home in 2010 she learned that her husband had died in prison.
Nowadays she lives together with Alai’s sister. Today they both run a small shop in Kundiawa in Simbu Province. Image: Vlad Sokhin