New photo exhibit documents the effects of war on women

Marissa Roth grew up in Los Angeles, but from her earliest years, she’s had a keen understanding of war. Her grandparents were killed in the Holocaust, and a compassion for the devastation experienced by the people left behind in the aftermath of conflict was embedded in Roth from an early age.

She didn’t start out documenting the  impact of conflict on women. But as she traveled the world on assignment, she found herself drawn to stories of women in conflict and the strength of the women she met. She’s visited Hiroshima, Vietnam, Belfast, and Bosnia; Roth has even documented the impact of gang violence in Los Angeles. (She was part of the Pulitzer-prize winning team at the Los Angeles Times in the aftermath of the riots.)

Roth says she’s found that the similarities of the women who have endured conflict are far greater than the differences. You can see it in the eyes of her subjects.

These aren’t noisy, violent pictures of guns or battle; they are contemplative, elegantly composed portraits of survivors.

Now, after 28 years of amassing these pictures, and a personal investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Roth is ready to share her life’s work. Starting Thursday at the Museum of Tolerance, you can see the results of her efforts.

One Person Crying: Women and War runs from August 16-October 18 at the Museum of Tolerance.