Born Into War: An Update from MADRE's Exhibit of Photos and Paintings by Former Child Soldiers
Posted on: Monday, July 26, 2010
Last Wednesday evening, MADRE members gathered at the Salt Space in NYC for our event, ‘Born into War,’ an exhibition of photos and paintings by former child soldiers in Colombia and Uganda.
The paintings and photos highlighted at the event were the result of therapeutic art programs for former child soldiers that were designed to mitigate the devastating effects of years of conflict. During the event, speakers Lisa Davis, MADRE’s Human Rights Advocacy Director, and Andrea Parra, an attorney at Women's Link Worldwide in Bogota Colombia, presented on Colombia and the shadow report that we wrote with a coalition of Colombian human rights organizations. Anna Safir, a former MADRE intern who currently works with the United Nations, discussed the UN project "Welcome to Gulu."
Read more about the Colombia shadow report »
All of the photos displayed at the exhibition were sold in a silent auction. Proceeds from the evening will go to benefit MADRE’s work on behalf of child soldiers.
MADRE would like to extend many thanks to all who attended and to those whose support was vital in making the event successful, including:
Jacques Torres Chocolates
& Foerster Foundation
The Nut Box
Eleanora & Michael Kennedy
Anne Helen Hess
Colombia’s decades-long conflict has devastated countless communities and created entire generations of people who have never known peace. Thousands of children have been recruited by armed groups on all sides of the conflict. These children are virtual slaves; many are sexually abused for years. To ensure that conscripted children can never return home, armed groups sometimes force them to kill their former neighbors or even family members.
Those who have been able to escape are lucky. Through MADRE’s partner organization, Taller de Vida, many former child soldiers have found healing, compassion and a community of caring adults who mobilize art to defend human rights and help children envision and build a life of peace. The photos featured in the exhibit brought that principle to life.
For over two decades, Uganda’s children have faced the threat of being abducted from their homes by soldiers of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a rebel group operating in Northern Uganda. It is estimated that 90 percent of LRA rebels were abducted as children, and as many as 66,000 children have been kidnapped over the course of the conflict. As in other conflicts, the children are often forced to commit horrific crimes against their families and communities in order to make them lose hope of ever having a life outside of the rebel group.
The UN Office of Drugs & Crimes (UNODC), in partnership with the International Criminal Court (ICC) Trust Fund for Victims, organized a workshop in Gulu, Uganda to assist in the rehabilitation of former child soldiers and abducted girls through art therapy. Artist Ross Bleckner traveled with the UNODC to Gulu to teach painting to young girls and boys. The children created art that represented their past sufferings and future hopes with brilliant colors and vivid shapes. After the workshop ended, UNODC brought the paintings back to New York, and Mr. Bleckner curated an art exhibition at UN Headquarters entitled “Welcome to Gulu.” The Born Into War exhibit featured paintings from this workshop.
Archives"Press Room" Home April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 July 2006 June 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 April 2005 March 2005 November 2004 October 2004 April 2004 March 2004 January 2004 December 2003 October 2003 September 2003 June 2003 April 2003 January 2003 September 2002 June 2002 January 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 January 2001
Kat Noel, Website & Media Coordinator
PHONE: +1 212 627 0444
MADRE & Our Partners Make News
The Right to Heal: 11 Years After Iraq Invasion, U.S. Urged on Reparations for War's Enduring Wounds (Democracy Now!, March 26, 2014)
Protests Call Iraq's New Family Law 'Legalization of Pedophilia' (Rudaw, March 10, 2014)
Haiti: the neoliberal model imposed on the country is failing its citizens (The Guardian, February 5, 2014)
Human rights group slams Iraq over treatment of women in prison (Miami Herald, February 2, 2014)
New Ways to Evaluate Impact (Stanford Social Innovation Review, January 24, 2014)