War Gardens: Book Launch
Fig 2. (c) Lalage Snow, Darulaman Palace
A journey through the most unlikely of gardens: the oases of peace people create in the midst of war.
WAR GARDENS: A Journey Through Conflict in Search of Calm, by Lalage Snow
In this millennium, we have become war weary. From Afghanistan to Iraq, from Ukraine to South Sudan and Syria, from Kashmir to the West Bank, conflict is as contagious and poisonous as Japanese knotweed. Living through it are people just like us with ordinary jobs, ordinary pressures and ordinary lives. Against a new landscape of horror and violence it is up to them to maintain a modicum of normality and colour. For some, gardening is the way to achieve this.
Working in the world's most dangerous war zones, freelance war correspondent and photographer Lalage Snow has often chanced across a very moving sight, a testimony to the triumph of the human spirit in adversity, a celebration of hope and beauty: a war garden. In Kabul, the royal gardens are tended by a centenarian gardener, though the king is long gone; in Camp Bastion, bored soldiers improvise tiny gardens to give themselves a moment's peace; on both sides of the dividing line in Jerusalem families tend groves of olives and raise beautiful plants from the unforgiving, disputed landscape; in Ukraine, families tend their gardens in the middle of a surreal, frozen war.
War Gardens is a surprising, tragic and beautiful journey through the darkest places of the modern world, revealing the ways people make time and space for themselves and for nature even in the middle of destruction. Illustrated with Lalage Snow's own award-winning photography, this is a book to treasure.
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Talk and Q&A with ISHKAR's Head of Travel, Zanna Baker, on her world-record-setting journey to cross Antarctica on foot.
Ice Maiden was an expedition in which a team of 6 women became the first all-female team to cross Antarctica using muscle power alone. The expedition completed 1704km over 61-days in January 2018. Zanna Baker was one of the 6 women to take part in this record-setting expedition. They were the first team to cross Antarctica without prior polar experience.
When two men compete to qualify in the Winter Olympics for the first time for Afghanistan, they realize that home is worth fighting for.
ISHKAR hosted an evening film screening of Where the Light Shines, the debut documentary from Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Daniel Etter with stunning cinematography by Angello Faccini.
We enjoyed a fascinating trip down the hippie trail memory lane with artist Antony Gormley, musician Richard Gregory, academic Dr Tommy Wide and designer Amelie Pichard.
Laila at the Bridge is a deeply personal perspective on the global addiction epidemic directed by two great friends of ISHKAR, Elizabeth and Gulistan Mirzaei. We were delighted to host an intimate screening of this award winning documentary. Find out more about the film and how to support Laila here.
We exhibited artist Sophie Jane Stafford 's project 'Rose of the Desert' over Kensington Art Weekend 2018 in the Goldfinger Showroom. Sophie's work explores the interaction of modern and historic traditions during the International Festival of the Sahara
Last night we were very lucky to have such a distinguished panel discussing the preservation of cultural heritage in war zones. Whether it is deliberate attacks or collateral damage, both antiquities and contemporary art in the Middle East are facing unprecedented threats.
We collaborated with our good friends at Walk the Talk to host a little last minute Christmas shopping party. The evening was fall of cheer with nibbles provided by the glorious Potage and Christmassy drinks made with the wonderful Ishka vodka (yes Ishka but not ISHKAR)
On the 24th of October was a great honour to host the award winning TED speaker, architect and author, Marwa Al Sabbouni. Marwa is a Syrian architect who lives in Homs.