Over the course of five years photographer Gabriela Maj travelled independently throughout Afghanistan and gained access to numerous women's prison facilities where she interviewed and photographed over a hundred incarcerated individuals for her new book, Almond Garden (Daylight Books). This extraordinary monograph is the only record of its kind in existence. No other study, book, documentary film, report or project presents as extensive and comprehensive a portrait of the individuals who exist within the Afghan prison system and the human rights violations that effect their lives. The result of numerous and oftentimes dangerous trips made by the artist to remote prison facilities around the country, Almond Garden is art and advocacy tool, historical record and a celebration of the courage of the women featured in the book’s pages.
Gabriela Maj grew up in Poland, Germany and Canada. Her photography and writing has been published by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vice, National Geographic, Esquire Magazine and featured on CNN, BBC and Frontline. She has worked as photographer for FRONTLINE, Getty Images, Bloomberg News and SIPA Press and has covered stories in Iran, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Syria among others. Exhibitions of her photography have been held at the Thomas Werner Gallery in New York, the Toronto City Hall in Canada, Pitti Uomo in Florence Italy and at the 7th Annual Tashkent Photography Biennale in Uzbekistan in 2014. Large-scale photo installations for showrooms and window displays have been commissioned by DKNY and Calvin Klein in New York. Gabriela obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Photography from Parsons School of Design at the New School University in New York and later went on to complete an Interdisciplinary Master’s degree in Anthropology at Columbia University.