In this book is a collection of portraits of women and girls that I have gathered on my travels over the years: working in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, traveling in Iran, India, Thailand and Japan, and working again in Mexico and the Americas.
The truth is that even though I have been fortunate enough to at least briefly meet all of the women pictured in this book, I nonetheless still know next to nothing about the vast majority of them. It’s the click of the shutter that briefly united us for a split second without ever knowing each other’s names or backgrounds.
And yet, looking back through all the different faces on the pages that follow, it strikes me just how many stories can rise up through the images. I see women working, protesting, holding banners, tending to their children; caked in make up or laughing, dancing, sitting, praying. There are beggars, schoolgirls, nuns, strippers, brides and witches; some that are old, some that are just breaking their first teeth, and some that weren’t even born as girls. But I nonetheless see their collective portraits as a strong testament to the powers of womanhood.