Academics >  The Leadership Program >  Spring Semester Projects >  Congo/Women > 

The Leadership Program is proud to host the Congo/Women Portraits of War: Democratic Republic of Congo exhibit in the Woodcock Art Gallery in the McGaw Fine Arts Center each Friday in February as part of this semester’s focus on human rights and freedom. This exhibit highlights the plight of women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo whose human rights and freedoms are often denied in horrific ways. The project also brings to light the incredible beauty and strength of these women and girls and the activists working to give them a fighting chance. 

                                                                                                                    Lynsey Addario/VII
Taken from the exhibition website:
 
The Women of the Democratic Republic of Congo have shown incredible bravery in the face of unbelievable atrocities, as evidenced by the photographs assembled in this exhibition. These women, along with their families, have survived a litany of atrocities: oppressive dictators; the violent passage to democracy; economic crises; and an ongoing struggle of regional and tribal warfare which has found its end far too slowly and with far too much bloodshed. These challenges have been accompanied by a devastating lack of both general and reproductive healthcare, HIV/AIDS, and the common occurrence of rape and extreme sexual violence against women and girls of all ages. For those who survive, support is often unavailable.
The photographs in this exhibition, taken by Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, Ron Haviv and James Nachtwey, tell the story of daily life in the Congo – political, economic, cultural, medical and personal. These images are at once gorgeously composed, highly aesthetic and full of humanity. At the same time, many are painfully saturated with human grief and suffering.
nge. Through the arts we create possibilities, identify necessities 
and shape our realities. In recognizing this phenomenon, we acknowledge a profound and far-reaching fact: art can encourage our greatest human capacity and can be the vehicle for the deepest of human expressions and actions.
The essays that accompany the photographs provide a deeper background with which to understand their context. They address a human-made humanitarian crisis. This is not a natural disaster; it is our disaster as a global community.This exhibition sheds light not only on the situation facing women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, but on gender-based violence around the world and demonstrates why the arts have a powerful role as mirror and map to influence social change. Through the arts we create possibilities, identify necessities and shape our realities. In recognizing this phenomenon, we acknowledge a profound and far-reaching fact: art can encourage our greatest human capacity and can be the vehicle for the deepest of human expressions and actions.

 

Exhibition Schedule:

February 1: Opening Reception, 6-8 p.m., Woodcock Art Gallery, McGaw Fine Arts Center
                   6:30, 7:00, and 7:30 p.m. Staged readings of a monologue from Lynn Nottage’s                                                 Ruined, by students, faculty, and staff

February 8: Exhibit, 6-8 p.m., Woodcock Art Gallery, McGaw Fine Arts Center
                   Vagina Monologues, Sibert Theatre

February 15: Exhibit, 6-8 p.m., Woodcock Art Gallery, McGaw Fine Arts Center
                     7 p.m. Screening of Nefarious followed by a discussion with Morgan Goatley, ’03,                                           Director of Development, Exodus Cry, Crispin Lecture Hall

February 22: Exhibit Closing, 6-8 p.m., Woodcock Art Gallery, McGaw Fine Arts Center
                     7 p.m. Oxfam film and induction of Illinois College’s “Sister on the Planet                                                           Ambassador”

    
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