Exhibition open: Wednesday 28th November – Monday 3rd December, 10am-4pm, Mon-Fri.
Talks and Q&A with Velma Saric, Louise Livesey and Julia Peck: Wednesday 28th November, 6.30- 8.00pm
My Body: A War Zone is a photographic exhibition that features the portraits and testimonies of survivors of wartime sexual violence from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nepal, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The exhibition coincides with the UN 16 days of activism for the elimination of violence against women and girls, and is presented in association with Remembering Srebrenica (http://www.srebrenica.org.uk/).
The exhibition, developed by PROOF: Media for Social Justice in partnership with the Sarajevo-based Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC), aims to bring individual stories of injustice to the broader public in an effort to overcome the silence and stigma associated with crimes of sexual violence. The exhibition is also aimed at replacing the culture of impunity for sexual violence with one of deterrence.
PCRC and PROOF partnered with photographers Midhat Poturović, Blake Fitch, NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati and Pete Muller to capture the images of survivors from the respective countries. Due to the sensitivity that continues to surround the topic of sexual violence, emphasis was placed on the survivors’ security, well-being and ownership of the final result. Many of the women who shared their stories wished to remain anonymous, which resulted in imagery that, while successfully concealing their identities, captured the cultural nuances of each location and conveyed the gravity and depth of each woman’s struggle.
Dr Louise Livesey is Course Leader for postgraduate Criminology, and Dr Julia Peck is Academic Subject Leader, Photography, both at the University of Gloucestershire.
Velma Šarić is a researcher, journalist, peacebuilding expert and human rights defender from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to her position as Founder and President of the Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC), she is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Balkan Diskurs, and Project Manager of the WARM Foundation in Bosnia. As a researcher and producer she has worked on numerous publications and films about the 1992-1995 Bosnian war, including ‘Uspomene 677’, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’ by Angelina Jolie, and ‘I Came to Testify and War Redefined’ from the PBS series Women, War & Peace. Velma has held fellowships at both Columbia University in New York and the Robert Bosch Foundation. Velma is currently the only Bosnian to be a part of the VV100 – a Vital Voices group of 100 most engaged and visionary women from the world. In 2014 Ms. Šarić and the Post-Conflict Research Center were awarded the Intercultural Innovation Award by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group.