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$3,435 pledged of $15,000 goal
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By Marissa Roth
$3,435 pledged of $15,000 goal
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About this project

*Less than two weeks to go and The Museum of Tolerance has announced the One Person Crying exhibition. With your help, I can complete all the elements of this 88-print exhibition and take it to other countries. Included in the exhibition are photographs of women and children taken in Cambodia, Pakistan, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, Germany, Japan, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, and the USA.

Potocari, Bosnia and Herzgovina, September 21, 2009.
Potocari, Bosnia and Herzgovina, September 21, 2009.

Zifa Bumbolovic, 52 years-old, who lost her 19 year-old son Fikret in the Srebrenica Massacre, as well as numerous other male family members, visits the cemetery in Potocari dedicated to the massacre. “It’s better to ask me who didn’t die.”

One Person Crying: Women and War, is a 28-year, personal global photo essay that addresses the immediate and lingering effects of war on women. In an endeavor to reflect on war from what I consider to be an under-reported perspective, the project brought me face to face with hundreds of women who endured and survived war and its ancillary experiences of loss, pain and unimaginable hardship. I traveled the world photographing, interviewing and writing down their histories, noting gestures and gruesome details, in order to document how war irrevocably changed their lives. Women are the touchstones for families and communities and are often relied upon to keep everything held together during a war or conflict. Often, there is no time for them to assess their own traumas afterwards, let alone speak of them in order to process the experience. I was compelled to put faces and give voices to the other side of war, with no judgment as to which war was worse for its victims. There is no blood or any guns in the images, just the record of lives lived with a never-ending post-war backdrop.

Sebanate Berisha, a Kosovar Albanian refugee who lost all of her children in a night-time bombing raid in Kosovo, at a refugee center with an unidentified boy. Tirana, Albania, 1999.
Sebanate Berisha, a Kosovar Albanian refugee who lost all of her children in a night-time bombing raid in Kosovo, at a refugee center with an unidentified boy. Tirana, Albania, 1999.

The consequences of war for women in countries, cultures and communities that are directly affected by it, have often been overlooked. My main hope for this project is to show that war doesn’t discriminate how it metes out pain or suffering, that women are basically the same everywhere in how they endure war and live with its aftermath into their post-war lives. I also hope that this project inspires dialog and activism, in order to bring on-the-ground psychological and social support to these war-impacted women. Addressing this subject started in response to immediate political and social events that I covered as a photojournalist starting in the late 1980’s. After 10 years, I formalized it into a documentary project and continued it from that perspective. In 2009, it was during a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia that I fully understood the deeper motivation for this work. My parents were Holocaust refugees and my paternal grandparents and great-grandmother were killed in a 1942 massacre in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. On the final day of that trip, I found my grandparents’ former home, and also found their names on a memorial plaque by the Danube River, dedicated to the numerous massacre victims. It felt like I had found them for the first time.

One of the stairways inside of the large Jewish Synagogue in Novi Sad, that leads up to the women's seating area. This is where my grandparents worshipped. Novi Sad, Serbia May 24, 2009.
One of the stairways inside of the large Jewish Synagogue in Novi Sad, that leads up to the women's seating area. This is where my grandparents worshipped. Novi Sad, Serbia May 24, 2009.

In March/April of 2012 I went to Vietnam for the first time, in order to finally conclude the arc of the project. The war in Vietnam was my coming-of-age war and greatly influenced my formative years, not only as a person and activist, but also as a photographer.

The project is now finishing, and The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles will be debuting a major exhibition of this work on August 16th, with 88 black and white photographs. This funding would enable me to create the exhibit and travel it globally. Expenses include printing of images, matting and framing, wall graphics, free-standing text panels, and shipping crates. Thanks in advance for your support!

At the forensics lab and morgue in Tuzla, run by the International Commission on Missing Persons, unidentified exhumed bones await DNA identification. Bosnia and Herzegovina, September 24, 2009.
At the forensics lab and morgue in Tuzla, run by the International Commission on Missing Persons, unidentified exhumed bones await DNA identification. Bosnia and Herzegovina, September 24, 2009.

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    One, "One Person Crying: Women and War" limited edition postcard, signed by Marissa, plus your name on the donor list on the "One Person Crying: Women and War" website.

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    One, "One Person Crying: Women and War" limited edition exhibition poster, signed and numbered by Marissa, plus the postcard, plus your name on the donor list on the "One Person Crying: Women and War" website.

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    An 8" x 10" silver gelatin print (image from the project), signed and numbered by Marissa, plus the "One Person Crying: Women and War" limited edition exhibition poster, plus your name on the donor list on the "One Person Crying: Women and War" website.

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    An 11" x 14" silver gelatin print (image from the project), signed and numbered by Marissa, plus the "One Person Crying: Women and War" limited edition exhibition poster, plus your name on the donor list on the "One Person Crying: Women and War" website.

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    Two 16" x 20" silver gelatin prints (images from the project), signed and numbered by Marissa, plus the "One Person Crying: Women and War" limited edition exhibition poster, plus your name on the donor list on the "One Person Crying: Women and War" website.

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Funding period

- (30 days)