Exhibit Documents the Courage of Women ‘in the Face of Unbelievable Atrocities’ in the Congo

“Portraits of War” featuring women from the Democratic Republic of Congo are on view through Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Thomas E. Golden Jr. Center at Saint Thomas More The Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale, 268 Park St.

Titled “Congo/Women,” the exhibit features both photographs and essays documenting the “incredible bravery” that women and their families have suffered “in the face of unbelievable atrocities” in recent years, write the organizers.

“These women, along with their families, have survived a litany of atrocities: oppressive dictators; the violent passage to democracy; economic crises; and an ongoing struggle of regional and tribal warfare which has found its end far too slowly and with far too much bloodshed,” say the organizers.

“These challenges have been accompanied by a devastating lack of both general and reproductive healthcare, HIV/AIDS, and the common occurrence of rape and extreme sexual violence against women and girls of all ages. For those who survive, support is often unavailable,” they add.

The exhibition features images of daily life in the Congo -from the political to the economic, cultural, medical and personal — taken by award-winning photographers Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, Ron Haviv and James Nachtwey.

The accompanying essays aim to provide a deeper background with which to understand their context, note the organizers, adding, “They address a human-made humanitarian crisis. This is not a natural disaster; it is our disaster as a global community.”

The exhibit was organized by the Art Works Projects: Art and Design for Human Rights and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College in Chicago. Major funding for the exhibition has been provided by the United Nations Population Fund, Humanity United, and Leadership Donors of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute.

The Yale presentation is co-sponsored by the Yale World Fellows Program, Yale Divinity School, the Gaddis Smith Seminar Series at the International Affairs Council, the Yale Graduate and Professional Student Senate, the Orville H. Schell Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, the Council on African Studies and the New Haven Alliance for Congo.

Exhibition hours are 10 a.m.-midnight, Monday-Friday; noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and 9 a.m. to midnight on Sunday. Admission is free.

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