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Photo Exhibit: "Congo/Women Portraits of War: The Democratic Republic of Congo"
Congo/Women is an internationally touring photography exhibition and educational campaign that raises awareness of the widespread sexual violence facing women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The exhibition features powerful photographs by award-winning photojournalists, Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, Ron Haviv and James Nachtwey, which convey the strength and courage of Congolese women. Accompanying essays contextualize the impact of the crisis from a range of perspectives.
Congo/Women will be making its Florida debut when it displays at Poynter. Over the next two years, the project will tour selected venues throughout North America, Europe and Africa, visiting universities and community centers to build awareness among as wide an audience as possible. The exhibition's Florida debut is made possible by Eckerd College. Media sponsors include the St. Petersburg Times and WUSF Public Broadcasting.
Since its Chicago premiere in February 2009, Congo/Women has had major presentations in New York City and on Capitol Hill. In May 2009, Senators Boxer and Feingold invited the exhibition as the visual component of Senate Foreign Relations hearings on “Confronting Rape and Other Forms of Violence Against Women in Conflict Zones” with case studies on the DRC and Sudan. Within two weeks of the hearing, Senators Boxer and Feingold wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton outlining specific recommendations from the hearing.
On August 11, 2009, Secretary Clinton made an unprecedented visit to the village of Goma, in the heart of the conflict in the DRC. She announced a $17 million plan to address sexual violence in the DRC, citing many of the recommendations from the May hearings, including training doctors and police officers, supplying equipment to document violence, and building facilities.
“It is almost impossible to describe the level of suffering,” Secretary Clinton said during her visit, as quoted in The New York Times. She told Congolese President Joseph Kabila there should be "no impunity for sexual and gender-based violence."
The following events have been planned in association with Congo/Women:
"At Home and Abroad: The Role of Art and Artists in Creating Social Change"
Wednesday, January 20, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Reception at 5:30 p.m., panel discussion at 6:15 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Call Eckerd College at 727-864-7979 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.
Grace-Anne Alfiero, executive director of Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center, will moderate a group of panelists who address social justice issues through programming and the improvement of accessibility of services and education for marginalized populations. Panelists include Leslie Thomas, executive and creative director of Art Works Projects and curator for the Congo/Women exhibit; Patrick Henry, sociology professor at Eckerd College; Carl Lavender, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast; Steve Lesky, vice president of Allegany Franciscan Ministries Foundation; Linda Osmundson, executive director of CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse); and, Terri Lipsey Scott, board chair for the Carter G. Woodson African-American Museum.
"Congo/Women: An Evening with Award-Winning Photojournalist Ron Haviv"
Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 p.m.
Conversation at 7:00 p.m., reception to follow. Tickets are $10. Reservations are required. To register, visit www.poynter.org/ronhaviv or call 727-821-9494.
Ron Haviv, one of Congo/Women's featured photographers, has produced images of conflict and humanitarian crises that have made headlines from around the world since the end of the Cold War. Poynter's Visual Journalism Group Leader and Director of Diversity, Kenny Irby, will moderate the conversation.
CONGO/WOMEN Curator and Co-Director: Leslie Thomas. Creative Advisor and Co-Director: Jane M. Saks. Exhibition Design: Art Works Projects and Real Design Associates/RDANY.COM. Identity and Graphic Design: Real Design Associates/RDANY.COM. Major support for Congo/Women has been provided by UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund; Humanity United; Oak Foundation; and the Leadership Donors of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College Chicago. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Learn how you can protect and empower Congo's Women: www.raisehopeforcongo.org