In sight of the Islamic State II.

‘In Sight of the Islamic State’ was a successful publication which described the dramatic experiences of two respected journalists, Lenka Klicperová and Markéta Kutilová, on the frontline and inside the Syrian city of Kobani as it was rising, slowly, from ruin.

The authors travelled on second occasion to the Kurdish territories in Syria to document events in an area afflicted by five years of fighting. They are the first Czech journalists to get as far as Kobani, a city, which has become a symbol of Kurdish bravery in fighting the Islamic State. ‘In Sight of the Islamic State II’ follows their second journey in February 2016 and links it with their previous journalistic work. After their first trip, the photojournalists set up a public appeal SOS Kobani to help the people in this war-torn and completely destroyed Kurdish city.
You can order the book on http://www.eshop-moderni-dejiny.cz/…a-dostrel-ii

The proceeds from the sale of the book will support the SOS Kobani collection. http://www.soskobani.cz

Book sample
…when our group delve into the area of the mudbrick houses, I realise that the village is not completely devoid of people. A young woman carrying a baby comes out of one of the houses. Does she live here? In this the shooting range? With a baby? Heval Arab knows her, he greets her, they obviously are not here for the first time. We sit in the shade and the women bring tea. There is a time to fight and time to drink tea. The Hevals have changed. They are playful and we take photographs of each other; then we take photographs of an old woman with a tattooed face. Everybody is smoking and they are glad that for the time being the fighting is over with. We drink another cup of sweet tea. It is a beautiful day on the Eufrates and we have just experienced the hell of war…” In sight of the Islamic State

In sight if the Islamic State

The war, Islamic State, abductions, torture, slaughter, orange robes, rape, bombings, refugees… and fear. Those words come to everyone’s mind in connection with the Syrian conflict, including journalists Lenka Klicperová and Markéta Kutilová when they started playing with the idea of going to Syria, to travel as far as Kobani. A city which has become the Stalingrad of the Middle East. A city which was the first to get rid of the Islamic State terrorists.

They are the first Czech journalists who have visited Kobani since the city was re-captured, and in their book, accompanied by suggestive photographs, they tell stories of the brave, resilient people living in the ruins of their homes or fighting on the front lines close to the Islamic State positions. An insightful epilogue by political scientist Tomáš Kaválek places the story into the broader context of the Syrian War.

A proportion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to SOS Kobani, set up by the authors. You can order the book on pomockobani@gmail.com. Please send your payment to A/C No: 670100–2200706568/6210. The price is 189 CZK, plus 50 CZK postage and packaging. 50 CZK from each book sold goes to SOS Kobani http://www.soskobani.cz

Africa Within Us II. (Mladá fronta 2013)

Hardcover, 240 pages, 24,7 × 29 cm, in Czech

This photographic publication introduces Sub-Saharan Africa, the beauty of its countryside and its disappearing customs and traditions. It doesn’t avoid the burning issues with which the continent is struggling either. The book introduces unique images of the local people and animals, supplemented with text.

The photographers’ trio is connected not only by personal friendship, but also by their love for Africa, which they show in all its raw beauty. “We are bonded by friendship, tested by years of joint travel. You have to believe that in countries such as Chad or Congo, you really get to know the person you are travelling with. We are joined by our love for this crazy African continent, full of antithesis and contrasts and unpleasant things, euphemistically speaking. I think what’s significant is that thanks to Olga and Vaclav Silha writing, the book captures that inimitable beauty of African nature. It’s something that has to be seen and experienced; only a few have the gift to put that beauty into words”, says Lenka Klicperová.

The journalist and photographer Lenka Klicperová takes the readers to the Cure salée celebration of free love in Niger and presents Gerewol, the traditional male dance. She shows the difficult life of the people living in the refugee camps on the Chad-Sudanese border, and the hard stories of the child soldiers in Uganda.

The husband and wife team Olga and Vaclav Šilha present the natural wealth of Africa. They take us through the desert and the wild coastline of Namibia and introduce the critically threatened nature of Madagascar. The book also offers unique images taken by Vaclav Silha of a herd of hippos attacking a crocodile. The pictures have been seen worldwide.

“I had an opportunity to speak to dozens of former child soldiers in Uganda. They experienced such horrible things that it made my blood run cold. Some of the young people only managed to escape the LRA a week previously. The LRA is one of the most brutal armies in Africa; they steal children from villages and make them into killing monsters.”

“A happier chapter in the book is from a festival of love in northern Niger called Cure Salee – a whole week of dance and free sex. The men cover their faces with incredible make-up and are so decorated that one feels that they are beings from another planet or different era,“ says Lenka Klicperová.

The book was launched by Antonín Kratochvíl.

Africa Within Us (Mladá Fronta 2010)

Lenka Klicperová, Olga a Václav Šilha
Hardcover, 20 pages, 24,7×29 cm, Czech

This picture publication is by three Czech authors who specialise in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The generously narrative images illustrate the stories of people and animals and the dramatic descriptions of their circumstances and origins. The project is a unique link of two different perspectives – by a female and a male photographer. Each photographer concentrates on distinct subjects and interprets them differently.

Lenka Klicperová mainly pursues the gradually disappearing traditional world. She photographs natural people who are slowly being absorbed by the expanding western civilisation, but also captures the life of ordinary Africans, which is changing faster and faster by the year. Her work shows a strong journalistic element, reminding the viewer of her profession of journalist. As a journalist she also worked in the war-stricken eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Václav Šilha focuses on photographs of wild nature, in Africa and elsewhere. But Africa is his main love, and he dedicates himself to documenting one of the biggest migrations of animals on this planet, the endless pilgrimage of African kopytniku from Tanzania to Kenya. He creates a photographic narrative for the viewer who can speculate on the rest of the story. His photographs are lively, dramatic and distinctive. Beside African nature, he also focuses on environmental issues.

The third co-author, Olga Šilhová, Václav Šilha’s wife, is a link between the two photographers. Klicperová and Šilha have never worked in Africa together, but Lenka Klicperová travelled with Olga Šilhová to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to northern Kenya. Olga also writes articles to accompany Václav Šilha’s photo­graphs. The three authors are linked by personal friendship and their love for Africa, a continent which can be either loved or hated, but nothing in between.

Review here.

Africa Within Us was launched by Petr Horky

Bibliography