Great news. 17 months after I went to Papua New Guinea with Benjamin Chesterton from Duckrabbit to work on a radio documentary “Crying Meri” for the BBC program “Open Eye”, it’s been released. It was a hell of a lot of changes, additional interviews and other strange stuff going around this doco. But finally The Open Eye – Crying Meri audio-essay was aired last weekend on BBC World Service:


***WARNING: This programme includes graphic descriptions of sexual violence*** 

‘A humanitarian crisis’, that’s how the medical charity Medicins Sans Frontiers describes the levels of violence against women they are dealing with in Papua New Guinea – levels they say they usually only witness in war-zones. It is a shocking and under-reported situation that the Russian photojournalist Vlad Sokhin has been documenting for the last three years. 

Sokhin takes us on a journey from the remote PNG highlands to the capital Port Moresby. Along the way, he hears the untold stories of women subjected to some of the most extreme violence perpetrated anywhere on earth, including the brutal torture of women accused of witchcraft. Sokhin is given rare access to Haus Ruth, one of only a handful of women’s refuges in PNG, as well as also hearing from women risking their lives by taking a stand against the violence. 

Perhaps most distubingly Sokhin talks to men who are quite open about having taken part in gang rapes and murders – exposing a criminal justice sytem that is failing women at the most basic level. It is a sobering but unforgettable journey that brings Vlad face-to-face with the truth that in Papua New Guinea men can and do get away with murder.

You can listen to the 55 min podcast on the BBC web-site or download it from here.

Visit my web-site to see more photos from Crying Meri.

“Crying Meri” book can be pre-ordered from FotoEvidence web-page.

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