Woman we have not lost yet

During my time at Paradox/Ydoc I had the privilege to participate a bit on this project that now has been released. Now in its fifth year, the Syrian conflict has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and left half of the population displaced. Aleppo, the largest metropolis in the country and one of the oldest human settlements in the world, is at risk of disappearing. Ongoing battles between government forces, opposition rebels and radical Islamist militants have severely damaged the city’s architectural fabric and will soon destroy what remains of its essence as a centre of intellectual activity and cross- cultural dialogue. The original number of inhabitants has shrunk from 2.7 million to an estimated 1.2 million in the Assad-controlled western zone and 500,000 in the east. 

About Issa Touma
Issa Touma, a photographer, cultural animator and founder of Le Pont gallery, has devoted himself to preserving Aleppo’s urban culture. In 2012, he initiated Art Camping. A collaborative programme in the form of workshops, it attempts to counter the violence of the conflict by encouraging young people from various religious and ethnic backgrounds to express themselves through art and culture. 

Women We Have Not Lost Yet and other stories from Aleppo brings together Touma’s visual work and some of the outcomes of Art Camping. Also featured is the video 9 DAYS – From My Window in Aleppo, edited by Floor van der Meulen and Thomas Vroege, and Mini Opera – A Postcard from Aleppo, composed by Merlijn Twaalfhoven to a libretto by Abdelkader Benali. 
The exhibition pays tribute to those who still live in the ruined city, struggling to hold on to hope amid the horrors of war. 

The publication Women We Have Not Lost Yet, designed by Kummer & Herrman, portrays 15 young women who took refuge in Le Pont gallery during the ‘Great Attack’ by radical Islamists in April 2015. The stories, recorded by Touma on video and in photographs, are a cry for freedom from the women Syria has not lost yet – to death, exile or oppression.
Revenues from the sale of the book, which was realised with the generous support of various partners, will be shared with Art Camping. Order online via YdocStore (http://ydocfoundation.org/women-we-have-not-lost-yet/)


Recently I was approached by a non-profit Dutch organisation Niños de Guatemala enquiring if I wanted to donate a photo for their fundraising auction to support their primary schools at Ciudad Vieja and San Lorenzo de Cubo in Guatemala. I found it a great idea and donated this photo. I was so glad when they called me saying that it reached 800€. Its incredibly good to see my work contributing to such good causes.

Photo: Borderline /Alqueva region, limited edition of 10 / 150x100cm / 


New York International School, Siem Reap Cambodia

I had the opportunity to visit the New York International School, a private institution during my stay in Cambodia.  Traditionally Cambodians received their education from buddhist monks. And although Cambodia enjoyed an increasingly wide covering education system based on the french model, during the Khmer Rouge regime 90% of all the teachers were killed. By this time the surviving education system consisted solely on a rigid political indoctrination. The recovery has been painstakingly slow and while plenty organisations devote themselves to teach english to the new generations there is still a big gap between rural areas and the main cities. 
Despite plenty NGO’s consistently work to aid on the education effort a new market for private teaching is slowly emerging. 



Samrong Village Community

Samrong Village Community was established in 2012 and it is registered as a non-governmental organization (NGO) under the name of Samrong Village Community Austria Organization (SVCAO). The main goal of the organization is to give education to the kids that for economical or social reasons did not get the chance to study.

The main target of this project are supervised kids that come from the rural area of Siem Reap and live in humble families or houses. Many of them are half or complete orphan.

HP:  www.samrong-dorf.at  Email:  info@samrong-dorf.at

Tolfa - Tree of Life for Animals

TOLFA is a busy animal hospital and rescue centre in Rajasthan, Northern India. We work to eradicate rabies, rescue and treat injured animals, sterilize street dogs, and more. We're an integral part of the community, and we've received international recognition for our work. Learn more and get involved! You can make a difference in the lives of the animals and people we serve. http://tolfa.org.uk

Some of our Achievements
Rescued more than 15,000 sick & injured stray animals
Spayed/neutered more than 17,000 dogs
Vaccinated more than 20,000 dogs against rabies
Free veterinary treatment for more than 20,500 goats

KILT - Khmer Independent Life Team

KILT - Khmer Independent Life Team

KILT, Khmer Independent Life Team is an organization of disabled Khmer run and managed by disabled people for the benefit of disabled Cambodians. KILT seeks to improve the quality of life, work opportunities, and social integration of Khmer (Cambodians) with disabilities through vocational training, education and work in a sustainable manner. KILTs primary social purpose is providing as many work opportunities as possible to its members. kiltjewellery.weebly.com

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AEC Foyer Lataste Cambodia

AEC Foyer Lataste Cambodia

AEC – Lataste / ADTJK (Aide à l’Enfance Cambodgienne – Foyer Lataste / Association pour le Développement Technique de la Jeunesse Khmère) is a French-Khmer non-profit organization, specializing in the protection and development of vulnerable children in Cambodia. More than 600 underprivileged children are supported each year by a local Khmer team, with respect for their culture and dignity.

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CDO Children & Development Organization

CDO Children and Development Organisation currently have 30 children at the CDO Family Home in Siem Reap, most of who are originally from Leap Chas village, a very remote village in rural Cambodia, 40 kilometers outside of Siem Reap. The children are encouraged to remain in contact with their biological and extended families, being reunited with their families several times a year so they are able to see siblings and parents. cdochildren.org