On September 19, 2010 i-ACT launched our newest multi-media exhibit, MY HOME: A Walk Through Children’s Memories of Darfur. It was part of an international Global Day of Action for Sudan to bring attention to the current situation in Darfur, Sudan, and the approaching referendum scheduled for January 2011. It was a powerful experience, both for our i-ACT team to curate and for the visitors who spent their afternoon and evening walking through the exhibit, listening to the sounds, viewing the videos, and taking in the drawings by the Darfuri children.
More than 100 people visited the one-day exhibit, and we were able to personally connect with each one of them. We spent time talking about the children artists and our friends who remain in overcrowded refugee camps. Rahma, Mansur, Farha, Fatma, and the smiling faces of many more touched the hearts of those who were open to hearing their stories. Reflections about the exhibit and its impact filled the room, and many tears were shed.
I read a poem that I had written, Justice in Order for Peace, in Camp Oure Cassoni more than two year ago when the ICC originally indicted President al-Bashir. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of failure, as the situation in the camps and on the ground has not changed since then.
A moment of relief and solidarity was during our collective action:
Taylor Hanson, who participated in Darfur Fast for Life last year and who is an activist himself, walked through MY HOME and was inspired to share a song of his own:
We want MY HOME to continue to have an impact on communities. If you are interested in bringing it to your home, email me ktj[at]iactivism.org.
Reflections by MY HOME visitors:
“The MY HOME exhibit for Darfur, is deeply moving and informative. Certainly for me to have my children with me. Who’ve watched me through the years advocate on behalf for the people of Darfur. Now as young adults – their personal experience meeting you, Gabriel and Katie-Jay … Along with …the powerful exhibit. When my son Gabriel – yes I know! Gabriel;-) asked about the drawings…He’d of course seen similar before, posted on the many versions of a my space page – the only medium I had at the time.. When I told him they were the original drawings of the children. How the were almost lost… The impact in my son, was visual.. Liv my daughter, in our conversation this morning, in awe of the authenticity of it all she’d encountered at the exhibit, with sincerity of heart and passion said, ‘Its’ was not at all like those charity events – this was real love.'” Kim
“The 10 minutes that it took to walk through the My Home exhibit did more to arouse and galvanize our team about the refugee children in Chad, than full evening events on the subject I have participated in recently. If you have not gone: go now, go support, and be moved to take the next step. The exhibit will have on-line petitions there to act immediately. As moving and sad as the subject matter is, it is equally rewarding to know that there are immediate steps you can take to help stop these atrocities.” Christian Anderson (Rise Up Coalition)