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Columbia College Chicago


Congo/Women Portraits of War:
The Democratic Republic of Congo

On view at European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
March 4-7, 2014

Congo/Women is an internationally touring photography exhibition and educational campaign that raises awareness of the widespread sexual violence facing women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  It is co-produced by the Institute and Art Works Projects, with major funding by UNFPA, the United Nations Populations Fund, and Humanity United. The exhibition features powerful photographs by award-winning photojournalists Lynsey Addario (Pulitzer Prize Winner and Institute 2008 Fellow), Marcus Bleasdale, Ron Haviv, and James Nachtwey that convey the strength and courage of Congolese women. Accompanying essays contextualize the impact of the crisis from a range of perspectives. An advocacy partnership with Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo campaign provides tools to demand action and involvement from the global citizenry. This project will illuminate the global epidemic of gender-based sexual violence that faces women and girls worldwide. Over the next two years, the project will tour selected venues throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa, visiting universities and community centers to build awareness among as wide an audience as possible.

Congo/Women is co-created and produced by the Institute and Art Works Projects, with funding by UNFPA, Humanity United, National Endowment for the Arts, and Oak Foundation.

For additional information visit, www.congowomen.org.





 In February 2011, The Nobel Peace Center used their façade to show the powerful photo exhibition Congo/Women in the dark. It was a stark reminder that one of the big differences between the poor and the rich women of the world is the likelihood of surviving their pregnancies. The event was a collaboration between the UNFPA, Sex and Politics, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Nobel Peace Center to focus on global health differences among women. Click here to view photos.


In October 2009, the United Nations Headquarters in New York hosted the Congo/Women exhibition for six weeks, with more than 100,000 people viewing the work. The UN exhibit was opened by a private reception hosted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and attended by over 500 guests comprised of international dignitaries, artists, representatives of NGOs, and the media.

In May 2009, the Institute and Art Works Projects was invited to bring the exhibition to Capitol Hill to serve as the visual centerpiece of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on Rape as a Weapon of War, sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Russ Feingold.  The exhibition was on view in the Russell Senate Office Building, in a presentation sponsored by the UNFPA Washington DC office.

Earlier this year, the Institute and Art Works Projects organized three major launch events including:
Columbia College Chicago (February 5-14. 2009)
Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. (March 5, 2009)
James Cohan Gallery in New York City (March 16, 2009)

Nearly 2,000 people attended these launch events, including government and policy officials, NGO-workers, artists, scholars, and members of the general public.

Events featured remarks and speeches by several distinguished individuals:

Jimmie Briggs, journalist, author and UN Goodwill Ambassador for Children in Armed Conflict;
Flo Nlandu, Chicago-based member of the Congolese community;
Stephen Lewis, co-director of AIDS Free World, and former UN Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa;
Dr. Roger Luhiriri, Physician, Panzi Hospital, DRC;
Sylvie Maunga Mbanga, Human Rights Lawyer, and Interchurch Organization for Development, DRC;
John Prendergast, co-chair, Enough Project;
Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Congresswoman, Illinois;
Marcus Bleadale, photojournalist and exhibition contributor;
Carroll Bogert, Associate Director, Human Rights Watch;
Pamela DeLargy, Chief of the Humanitarian Response Branch, UNFPA;
Ron Haviv, photojournalist and exhibition contributor;
Noella Coursaris Masunka, Georges Malaika Foundation, empowering African girls;
Lynn Nottage, Pulitzer-prize winning playwright of Ruined, and an Institute/Goodman Theatre Fellow.