A New Collection of Photography Focused on Women in Afghanistan

Paula Lerner Photo Courtesy of the Schlesinger LibraryPaula Lerner Photo Courtesy of the Schlesinger Library
By Marilyn Dunn

Photographer Paula Lerner '84—who took pictures of people all over the world, but especially women in Afghanistan—gave her papers and photographs to the Schlesinger Library before she died on March 6 at age 52 in Belmont, Massachusetts. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.

Lerner made five trips to Afghanistan on her own and as a volunteer for the Business Council for Peace (Bpeace), an organization that helps women in post-conflict countries set up self-sustaining businesses. In 2007 and 2009, she traveled to Kandahar, the capital of southern Afghanistan, to work on a long-term project on women there. Her multimedia feature The Life and Death of Sitara Achakzai, about a prominent female Kandahari politician, was a Webby Award honoree in 2010. Later that year, she collaborated with the Toronto Globe and Mail to produce Behind The Veil, an Emmy-award winning multimedia feature about women in Kandahar, which was also a Webby Award nominee and won a prestigious EPPY Award. Lerner's clients included Business Week, Newsweek, Smithsonian, and Time.

We'll bring you more news about the Lerner Collection after it arrives at the library and is processed. 

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