29 January 2007

Final Print - Raping Darfur


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:



Helle said...

Hi Annie

This is a very powerful print.....great work.
I just discovered your blog and am enjoying looking at your work. Year of the pig print is gorgeous.
I just finished a series of 12 textile collages for a Year of the Pig exhibition.


Anonymous said...

Annie, I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, watching the progression, but you have shown me how a dark thought can create a beautifully textured image. This is great. Congratulations.


Cin said...

congratulations Annie, it's an amazing piece, unflinching and powerful

Annie B said...

Thanks everyone. Doug, I too wondered about the "dark" thought behind this print, and many times in the process I balked at the whole topic. I was alternately afraid that I was being too graphic and then afraid that I wasn't being graphic enough. Many of the stories I read in my research were stories of victims doing amazing things to save their families - a woman allowing herself to be raped so that her younger sister could escape, an elderly woman using her body to put out a fire that was engulfing her husband. As in all wars, there are so many untold stories.

Amy Stoner said...

what a beautiful powerful print! It turned out just lovely, and I appreciated reading the story that help explains the detail in it. Very moving.

Tom said...

Hi Annie,

Great work!

Funnily enough I am working on
a print that features menace, a woman and oil company logos. I have decided to recycle my blocks and make 2 prints from one basic idea

You could also print a series from these blocks, recombining different elements.

For me the basic landscape with the woman's face is most powerful. The children's drawings might work well on a white background.


Carol B. said...

Powerful work. I've appreciated the background you've given both on the issue and your thought process in creating the piece.


dinahmow said...

Hi, Annie. I have been following the progress of this print and, aside from the enormous technical detail, I am shaken by the imagery.I knew what you were trying to convey, but the final image has still slapped me in the face.
For your compassion and ability, thankyou.

Annie B said...

Thank you Amy, Tom, Carol, Dinah. Tom, I'd love to see your print with the woman and oil company logos! Great minds tread the same paths. I too have been thinking about how to recycle blocks. Working at the same size consistently would help, but I can't seem to do that for long...

general gow said...


wow. found your blog through a post on printfreak, and saw this print.

wow. super work.


Diane Cutter said...

It's all been said by the others, Annie, but I just wanted to add my voice and congratulate you on a wonderful, strong piece of art!!!

KJ said...

Incredible! Very strong work... very strong blog! So meaningful! KJ

Andy English said...

I keep returning to this print. In my mind it is a museum piece - it deserves to be shown where a large number of people will view it and start to take on its message. The fact that I never approach issues like this fills me with shame.

Annie B said...

Mark, Diane, KJ, Andy thank you. Andy please don't berate yourself for your choice of subject matter. Your work is beautiful and, as I wrote on your blog, it touches my heart deeply. I think we each explore the images we have to explore, the topics that we have the most feeling for. We need all of us to make the whole picture!

Thanks for the thought about this being a museum piece! That will definitely help me get through the little pile of rejection letters I'm collecting.

Anonymous said...


I just found your Darfur print and I am very, very moved, not only by the actual print itself, which is incredible, and your willingness to show us your process, but also by your compassion that lives so deeply within you that you were willing to use your creativity in this way to create this witness to man's cruelty and woman's sorrow. Your print is a testament to the world about the horrors that can no longer be ignored and I thank you for that.

ainesse said...

Hello again Annie...just a quick note as my battery is just about to go.
This has got to be the most striking and meaningful print I have seen in ages. Did you make it for a particular exhibition.??

I agree with what someone on here said it deserves to be in a museum. How about contacting somewhere like the British Museum.? They have a print collection.

best wishes