Artspace Liberti presents its November/December show, Congo’s Silent Scream, featuring a collection of emotive portrait images by lead photographer of Women in Warzones, Melanie Blanding. This exhibition runs from November 5 – December 20, 2010. There will be an opening reception on Friday, November 5th from 7:00 – 10:00pm featuring a musical performance by Will Chambers.
Melanie first traveled to eastern Congo in the summer of 2005 and was mortified by the number of women affected by monstrous acts of sexual violence. Thousands of women have been victims of this horrific violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since Hutu rebels fled Rwanda after the genocide in 1994. These rebels pillage, rape, steal and burn villages as targeted acts of war designed to terrorize and exploit the people while reaping massive financial gains for themselves.
As of 2005, Panzi Hospital, in Bukavu, South Kivu, had treated more than 3,600 women who were Victims of Sexual Violence, with no news of this being reported in the U.S. at the time. Melanie was determined to return to the Congo and share the stories of willing women. She created this collection of photographs when she returned to eastern Congo in 2006, in response to the great need for awareness and for these women’s stories to be heard. “Silence is their greatest enemy”, Melanie stated, and hopes that through her illuminating work, more people will join the mission to get these women the help they need to rebuild their lives.
The artist’s reception will be held on November 5, from 7:00-10:00pm at 2424 E York St in Philadelphia between Gaul and Cedar Sts.
While the gallery does not maintain regular viewing hours, visits can be scheduled by appointment. Please e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit. Viewing is also possible during Sunday church services between 10:00am – 1:15pm.
Artspace Liberti is a multi-discipline arts venue organized and maintained by liberti church east.