Vlad Sokhin

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

A Polaroid image of Helen Michael. Working on the same project for years, following the same people, gives me an opportunity to see changes in the lives of the women I photograph. I met Helen Michael early in 2012, a few weeks after she was attacked by a 'cannibal', a crazy man who bit off her lip. Police arrested the man but, because Helen spent several days in the hospital and submitted her complaint 'too late,' the man was released. She didn't give up fighting for justice and went to the media. That's how I first heard about her. I called the local paper, police, and hospital looking for Helen. Everyone had heard this terrible story but no one could help me find her. One day, I was passing a square in the centre of Port Moresby and saw a woman walking in my direction. On her lower lip I saw a bandage. When she came closer to me I looked at her face and noticed under the bandage, instead of her lip, there was a hole with teeth. I stopped her and carefully asked if she might be that woman from newspaper story. It was her. I could not believe my luck to find Helen by chance. I took her portrait and showed it to some organisations. ChildFund and Interplast offered their support to her. Two years after the attack, Helen went through plastic surgery. Her lip is back now and her scars are healing. Her story inspired many women from her settlement. Now she is advocating in her community to stop the violence.
Photographer Vlad Sokhin says: 'With words and Polaroid images I kept a record of my thoughts and impressions, writing down dialogues with victims and perpetrators, and otherwise capturing the moments and events that surrounded me every day'.

Part of story
Object Name
Vlad Sokhin
Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea
Not for sale in Germany and German speaking countries and Russia.
Max size
High Resolution
4680 x 3120 pixels
39.62 x 26.42 cm (300 dpi)
15.6 x 10.4 inch (300 dpi)
2.2 MB size on disk
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