End Sexual Violence in Conflict Summit with ActionAid UK


Images are powerful if executed well. What I have seen today in London was beyond powerful. The entire Summit was astonishing and I am very grateful to ActionAid UK for the invite but in terms of photography I really enjoyed the photo exhibition in the expo area. For many reasons actually.

First of all – the quality of images depicting people. I think it is really hard to take a good portrait photo and so I was really impressed with the power of colour, angles of shots and the powerful stillness or movement of some shorts!

Secondly – the arrangement of photos, the journey we were taken on from the reality of tough circumstances women are exposed to in conflict through more specific situations and environmental/social factors to the very core: women. Women who are victims. Women who fight for a better world. I think this journey resonated with many of the viewers I could see there, not just me…

And finally all the stories that reach beyond photos, hidden in between lines, faces, expressions of eyes and mouths of men and women pictured in this journey. You want to know more. You KNOW there is more.

But you also KNOW you DON’T WANT TO KNOW. What you really want to do is walk away, pretend sexual abuse in conflict does not happen at all and you can go back to your happy everyday reality. But you DON’T, you CANNOT. Pictures like the ones we saw during the Summit – pictures of peaceful faces, not so much actual atrocities, work much better than bare bones and blood. For me, that is. But then again I was a victim of a toxic relationship and had no idea so when I realised it all I also understood the seriousness of our world. The bubble I grew up in bursted and I woke up to a much harsher, sharper reality. One that we must take responsibility for. We need to look the problem straight in the eyes, investigate and find the best, most practical and long term solution, shift our cultural assumptions and ACT.

#TimetoAct was the hashtag and slogan of this event so for a start I suggest you support ActionAid in the work they do in the field. Why? Simply because their work is aimed at long term solutions though understanding of communities and working with those towards sustainability of a change – which is not always the case with all NGO’s. That’s why I like to meet girls from ActionAid and this is why I think we all need to act, not just post and read.

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