- Category: Visual Art
- Published: Tuesday, 18 June 2013 10:27
On Christmas Eve last year, photographer Vlad Sokhin posted a Christmas message on his blog site to a young girl from Lae on Papua New Guinea's north coast. The message was accompanied by a photograph of the girl he had taken on one of his visits.
'I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I know that Santa Claus is not coming to visit you in your slum house and is not going to give you any present this time, as he didn’t give anything to you in past years. I know that if you had the opportunity to ask him for a gift, you would have asked that what happened to you could never have happened.'
The girl is six-years-old and a victim of kidnapping and gang rape. Her unspeakable ordeal and injuries would normally condemn her to shame and obscurity. But her appearance in Sokhin's lens, her face mostly shrouded by a curtain, empowers the viewer. Instead of shielding her from the shame, his camera honours her survival.
'Please be a strong girl and I promise that I will come to visit you soon!', the post ends.