Cathy Otten is a British journalist and author based in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her work on the rise and fall of Isis and the genocide of Iraq's Yezidi minority has been widely praised. She's best known for her book length investigation into the enslavement of Yezidi women by Isis, With Ash On Their Faces: Yezidi Women and the Islamic State (OR books 2017), described by the The Los Angeles Review of Books as: "The best kind of humanist journalism: lucid, transparent, grimly realistic.… (N)o book has covered it better.”
Based in Iraq since 2013, Cathy writes features and magazine articles focusing on the causes of violence and social and psychological impacts of war. Cathy's a regular commentator on TV and radio and speaks about Iraq and journalism at Universities and Institutes around the world, most recently at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Her work has featured on CNN, NPR, the BBC, New Yorker.com and in the Guardian. In November 2017 she gave a series of lectures in Germany supported by the Heinrich Boll Foundation and the Refugee Council. She received hostile environment training via a grant from the Rory Peck Trust in 2015, combat medical training in 2014 and is a member of the Frontline Freelance Registry. In 2018, Cathy was short listed for the One World Media Awards in London and was also a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good in New York.
With Ash on Their Faces was named one of the New Internationalist's Ten Best Books of December 2017 and was listed among the Best Human Rights Books of 2017. The London School of Economics called her book "An intense and morally needed chronicle of the Yazidis’ battle for survival, providing evidence for one of the most brutal acts of barbarity of this century and, from this, perhaps leading to something verging on accountability." The Times Correspondent Anthony Loyd wrote: "Otten tells the Yazidis' remarkable story with a deft and detailed hand in this revealing account of suffering, endurance and survival. An essential read for anyone interested in the plight and resilience of one of Iraq's most persecuted minorities."
Contact Cathy at cathyotten [at] gmail [dot] com on twitter @cathyotten