I received an email from my friend Anne Ream’s foundation The Voices and Faces Project—a documentary initiative created to bring the testimony of sexual violence survivors to the attention of the public:
“we have seen first hand how difficult it is for women to come forward with their testimony”.
Yet we know that the barriers faced by our sisters in other countries and regions (especially regions where there is military conflict) are often far greater than any we have encountered in North America.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, tens of thousands of women have been raped in what United Nations officials have called the worst violence against women in the world. In a culture where rape brings victims more shame than assistance, how are women finding safe ways to speak out about their suffering? What role can testimony play in changing public attitudes and responses to sexual violence and crimes of war?
Congo/Women — a series of portraits of war from the Democratic Republic of Congo — explores these themes in a way that calls us to greater compassion and action. The exhibition features photographs by Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, Ron Haviv and James Nachtwey.
The photographs attached to this site clearly articulate the pain and struggle that should not exist in the 21st century…ANYWHERE. I urge everyone who reads this post to please pass it on and have everyone you know visit this site. And to visit the exhibit if you happen to be in Chicago, New York or Washington D.C. when it arrives. Major support for Congo/Women has been provided by United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, Humanity United, and Leadership Donors of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media Columbia College Chicago.
We all have a responsibility to support and stand for the protection for ALL people around the globe and ensure their safety, their respect and their dignity.
To view the photo’s please click here.