In Their Own Words: Art from Women in War Zones – Bird + Stone

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In Their Own Words: Art from Women in War Zones

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 "I witness daily the consequences of armed conflict on the lives of women and girls. In the courage and dignity of victims and survivors, I have seen human nature at its best. And in the sheer brutality of crimes against them, I have seen it at its very worst."

-"To temper war and conflict, empower women" op-ed by Fatou Bensouda

 

 

Women and girls often bear an immense weight during periods of armed conflict beyond the fighting itself - from the threat of sexual violence to the removal of resources like education. And too often they are silenced, ignored, and denied a seat at the table during the recovery process.

Let's uplift the voices of women brave enough to share their experiences, and demand that these voices be heard. Here are 4 brilliant works by women in conflict zones to get you started:

 

Yemen
"You're a Nation Without Poem" by Methal

 

Methal

 

Methal was 22 when she started performing music in Yemen after the Arab Spring in 2011. She was met with backlash, blackmail, and worse for daring to be a female musician in public, and she also faced the threat of violence from the ongoing war. As she says, " How can you pursue something you love when your life and the lives of those you love are in constant danger? Adding to that the amount of negativity I got about how I needed to stop doing music was enough to drown anyone." After leaving the country in 2015, she released a gorgeous debut album in 2017.

 

Iran
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis Panel
In the iconic graphic novel Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi chronicled her experiences growing up in 1980's Iran. From fear and oppression, to rebellion and rage, to triumph and love, this book is an unforgettable journey through the complexity of being a young woman in Iran. And the insights she shares can help us better understand the situation for girls in similar situations now. Plus, if comics aren't your thing, it's also a stunning animated film!

 

 

Afghanistan
The art of Shamsia Hassani ​

Shamsia Hassani

We can't express the awesomeness of Afghanistan's first female graffiti artist better than she can:

"I started doing street art in a workshop in Kabul in December 2010.... Before that, I had no idea. After the workshop, I got the idea that street art would be very good for our society because in Afghanistan... I can change the view of the city by putting colors up and maybe covering bad memories of war...." Hassani lives abroad now, and her evocative images of Afghan women resonate worldwide.

View here

 

Ukraine
Lucky Breaks by Yevgenia Belorusets

Lucky Breaks

Published just this year, this collection of grounded, delicate, and heartbreaking short stories is based on Belorusets's interviews with women in Eastern Ukraine during the violence between Ukraine and Russia in 2014. As one reviewer puts it, "It's not about generals. It's not about soldiers. It's about people who don't count. It's about people who don't count when you decide to invade a country, right?... It's a book that makes invisible people visible."

Read here

 

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Want to support women suffering from war right now? Check out our new MAKE LOVE NOT WAR bracelet here! 100% of profits donates to CARE, providing emergency aid and long term support for countries like Yemen, Ukraine, Myanmar, and more!

 

Make Love Not War Bracelet

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