ESCAPED

On August 3rd, 2014, ISIS insurgents attacked the northern Iraqi city of Sinjar in an attempt to expand their so-called ‘caliphate.’ For centuries Sinjar has been a hub of ethnic and religious diversity but has predominantly been inhabited by Yazidis, an ancient monotheist community whose gnostic faith has elements of Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam. During the weeks following the fall of the city, the Sunni militants who see the Yazidi people as devil worshippers carried out a genocidal campaign, killing tens of thousands of people and kidnapping over 5,000 women who they later sold into sexual slavery. One year later, Sivan M. Salim, an Iraqi female photographer, tracked down some of the women who managed to escape. She has portrayed them wearing the traditional white Yazidi wedding dress - a symbol of purity. Identifying details of their accounts have been omitted and their names changed in order to ensure their safety.