Rising Among Ruins, Dancing Amid Bullets is a photographic project I have been working on since 2012 in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan, to bear witness to the consequences of war, namely to the lives of civilians returning to their homes after their cities are liberated, as well as to the daily life of the fighters behind the front lines while emphasizing the role of women in their ranks.” …

“I have chosen to stay behind the front lines and observe what is happening in these “grey” areas of war, with the aim to share the daily life of the soldiers and those who continue to live in the ruins, despite the reality of their predicament.

It is from this context that emotions and sensations arise, in simple gestures, poses, joyful dances and moments of intimacy. I wanted to make people forget my presence so that only the truth of the struggle and resilience of people remained.” — Maryam Ashrafi

A link to the crowdfunding page for the book can be found here: https://crowdfunding.hemeria.com/project/rising-among-ruins-dancing-amid-bullets-maryam-ashrafi/

Maryam Ashrafi is a social documentary photographer who believes in long-term projects. Her work puts a face on a widely commented war that remains distant and by the West primarily perceived in terms of the number of refugees. Maryam documents the war in her own way, stressing its complexities and the effective construction of a new social model based on equality, with women occupying the same roles as men, contrary to the status quo in their part of the world. That is why, over the years, she has returned to the same places, to show the unique power of people’s resilience and will to live and seek change, and it is her conviction that documenting conflicts and the consequences of war is vital for the provision of evidence and testimony necessary to be seen and known in the future.

Photos in the book are supported by texts from Allan Kaval, (Journalist for Le Monde Newspaper), Kamran Matin, (Associate professor of International Relations at Sussex University), Carol Mann, (Sociologist and specialist in gender issues and armed conflicts, associate researcher at the University of Paris 8 and director of the Women in War association), Mylène Sauloy, who has documented the conflict in four different parts of Kurdistan, notably since 2015 in Rojava, with films, articles, exhibitions and a soon to be published graphic novel on Kurdish women in war.