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Special Award for Women and Girls, protagonists of social change 2006

Lana Šlezić

Afghan women


When the Taliban regime was overthrown in 2001, the media told stories about the disappearance of the burqa, the return of girls to schools, and the recovery of women’s rights and freedoms. At present, this is only true for a small number of women. Urban areas have seen some progress, but progress has been very little in rural areas. Forced marriages, child trafficking, isolation, self-immolation, domestic violence, and honor killings are just some of the problems Afghan girls and women face today.


Lana is a filmmaker, photographer, cinematographer, director, storyteller daughter, sister, partner, mother of two. She was born in Toronto, Ontario, to parents from Croatia. Šlezić attended Western University in London, Ontario, and obtained an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology. She then went on to receive a Diploma in Photojournalism from Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario. Graduated from Loyalist College in 2000.

In the past, worked as a freelance photojournalist. Her work has been published in three continents, under titles such as TIME Magazine, The New York Times, and Chatelaine. Additionally. She has also contributed to Canadian Magazine, The Walrus. Šlezić is known for making very beautiful work that also has content and meaning. She aims to tell a story through her work and feels that it is rewarding when her audience understands the meaning behind her work. She says that she creates the idea of a photo in her head, and waits for it to occur in life so that she can capture it. She notes that this approach to photography relies on patience, luck, uncertainty, and chance. For Šlezić, the most important aspect of her work is staying connected to her subject matter.