Alfred Fried Photography Award 2014
German Photo Book Award NOMINATED 2015
FEP European Book Prize of the Year Award 2015
ADC 94th Annual Awards SILVER CUBE
Prix de la Photographie Paris 2015
POYI 73 Finalist

Ann-Christine Woehrl 
Laura Salm-Reifferscheidt 
22,5 x 27,5 cm, 212 pages 
91 images
English, German
Hardcover, "French Fold"-jacket
ISBN 978-3-901753-72-5
5. June 2014


48 women. 48 unimaginable stories. It is their scars which make people look at them. They are openly stared at or eyed discretely. It is easier for society to ignore those that are different. They are excluded and therefore have become invisible. Survivors of fire and acid attacks do not only suffer from their scars for their whole life. Above all, it is our reactions which are pushing them to the edge of society. 

Ann-Christine Woehrl visited survivors of fire and acid attacks in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Uganda. The photographer has portrayed the women on their paths back to life. She does not present them as tragic victims, but as the personalities they have always been and still are despite their unimaginable suffering. The result is an insightful – almost private – album, that challenges and most of all inspires. It is an homage to women that master their unique lives with humility and heroic strength. 

"People just have to accept me the way I am. And I actually love myself now. I have learned to appreciate inner beauty more, even in other people. So I am trying to be proud of what is in my heart." Flavia, Uganda  

It is precisely this openness and vitality that the photographer wanted to portray. She set out to present each survivor as an individual, way beyond their collective stigma as marked women, and to give each of them a face again, to make them visible. By choosing a neutral black background for the portraits in the first part of the book, Ann-Christine Woehrl left out any reference to the social environment of these women and provided them with a safe and also special – even solemn – frame. A frame within which they could pose and present themselves as they saw fit and not as victims.

In the second part of the book, Ann-Christine Woehrl takes a closer look at one survivor in each of the six countries, whom she has accompanied over a longer period, and captures her everyday life, her will to survive, her steps back into life, moments of hopelessness and despair as well as those of joy and happiness.

The photographic work is framed by an essay and six interviews with the six women, conducted and written down by Laura Salm-Reifferscheidt.

EXHIBITION UN/SICHTBAR - Frauen Überleben Säure
State Museum for Ethnology in Munich, 6 June 2014 – 11 January 2015

The Operators Creative In light of the worrying increase of attacks in Europe, ASTI has partnered with Belgian survivor Patricia Lefranc who was attacked in 2009, to campaign for a Europe wide change in the law to restrict the easy accessibility of acid. The campaign video was made by The Operators Creative with music provided by Ann-Christine Woehrl and features Patricia calling for an end to acid violence. Click here to open in a new window.


Ann-Christine Woehrl

was born in 1975. She works as a freelance photographer. Her work focuses on social topics, women’s rights and religious issues in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. Her photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines, and she has published the books Voodoo – Leben mit Göttern und Heilern in Benin, Die Frauen von Havanna, and Montevideo. In 2013, her work Witches in Exile was shown at the gallery Pinter & Milch in Berlin, at the International Festival of Photography Belo Horizonte in Brazil, and at the Angkor Photo Festival in Cambodia. Her project IN/VISIBLE was funded by the German foundation VG Bild/Stiftung Kulturwerk.

Laura Salm-Reifferscheidt

was born in Vienna. She studied Cultural Management at Passau University in Germany, before taking a traineeship at the Axel-­Springer Journalism School in Hamburg. She has been working as a freelance journalist and author in Berlin since 2007. The main focus of her work are social issues in Africa, Turkey and South Asia. She is the author of the highly praised books The Bazaars of Istanbul and Voodoo – Leben mit Göttern und Heilern in Benin.