Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives by Manca Juvan in Knoxville, TN

The Consulate of the Republic of Slovenia in Knoxville, TN, in cooperation with The Arts & Culture Alliance introduced on Friday, February 7 at the Emporium Gallery in Knoxville, TN, an exhibition by the Slovenian freelance photographer Manca Juvan. The 20 images in the exhibition, titled “Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives”, portray civil society in Afghanistan, where Juvan spent many months doing field research among Afghan villagers. The images have been published in a book of the same title, published by IRD – International Relief and Development, which aims to encourage continuous discussion on Afghanistan, particularly its civilian aspect, which is often omitted from the usual political/war discussion present in the media. The photographs are displayed in the Balcony of the Emporium Center from February 7 – March 1, 2014. 

A public reception took place on Friday, February 7, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.  with complimentary hors d’oeuvres available, and chocolate fondue provided by the Melting Pot of Knoxville, with the support of the Honorary Consul of Slovenia in Tennessee, Dr. Lydia Mihelic Pulsipher, who greeted the hundreds of guests on the occasion.

“Despite the international community’s efforts to crush the Taliban regime in Afghanistan after 9/11, and its promises of bringing democracy to and rebuilding this war-torn nation, the ongoing war and instability continue to diminish the hopes of the Afghan people,” says Manca Juvan. “Stories of the lives of ordinary Afghans caught in this endless conflict of interests 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 was shown at the Embassy of Slovenia in Washington; Gallery MC in New York; the Slovenian Museum and Archives in Cleveland, OH; the State Capitol in Denver, CO; the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana, Slovenia; the Photomed festival in France; the Federal Parliament of Belgium and the Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg. In March, the exhibition will be on display at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. For more information on the Afghanistan: Unordinary Lives project, visit www.mancajuvan.com/unordinarylives