29 January 2007
Final Print - Raping Darfur
13 x 19 inches (33 x 48 cm)
5 wood blocks, 2 plastic plates, 11 impressions
echizen kozo paper.
The gunmen made Mohammed Aadam lie with his face in the dirt while his sister was being raped. He had been sitting in his hut that morning, playing cards with friends, when the Janjaweed attacked. "The Janjaweed were shooting and people from the village were running into the forest," said Aadam, aged 23. "They ordered me and some of the other men to lie down on the ground. They had captured some of the women, including my sister, and we heard the women cry out as they were raped." (December 5, 2004, The Observer)
According to the UN, thousands of women have been raped as their villages were razed by the government-backed Janjaweed militias which have devastated western Sudan since 2003. Women in refugee camps as well as foreign aid workers are also targeted for sexual assault. In this print I've worked with imagery depicting the various forms of rape involved in the Darfur conflict – the military helicopters that come to bomb the villages first, the janjaweed on horseback, the circular rings that remain after the Darfurian huts are burned, the land itself with its scarce resources, and the foreign oil companies with interests in Sudan (logos along the garment’s hem).
To see a video of Darfurian women singing about the rapes, go to this link on msnbc.com and click on "Video: Song of Darfurian Victims" in the list on the right. Below are some stills from that video: