“I made the vow to become the voice of the voiceless”. Annie Tenga Modi is a feminist activist for 37 years. Director of the association Afia Mama (“the health of the woman”), her fight against sexual violence used as weapons of war in the democratic Republic of the Congo. Doctors of the World has presented his portrait Monday, simultaneously in the streets of Paris, Bordeaux, and Brussels. His testimony is available online.
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Until Friday, 8 march, the international Day of the rights of Women, the non-governmental organization display every day the face of a woman from Asia, Europe, Latin America or the Middle East, through the portraits by Denis Rouvre, French photographer awarded a Sony World Photography in 2011 and three World Press Photo in 2010, 2013 and 2014.
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“We want to bring the voice of these women who act heroically in a manner visible or silent, against the violence with which they are made”
On the site of the project named Unsung Heroes (unsung Heroines), their recorded testimonies in their native languages and translated to the written word will be available day after day. “We want to bring the voice of these women who act heroically in a manner visible or silent, against the violence with which they are made,” says Olivia Amos, coordinator of the international communications association. “This is not a project of victimization, but of highlighting acts of resistance against violence, physical, moral, and institutional-related kind, which are sometimes treated as mere facts.”
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In the democratic Republic of the Congo, “a way to humiliate the enemy and annihilate it, to take control on his space has been identified, it was touching the most sensitive point, which is to take the women, girls, violate them systematically in front of these men,” says Annie Tenga Modi in his testimony. In Bulgaria, young girls are married very early, are out of school very quickly, and do not have access to contraception. In Colombia, many victims of rape are often silenced for fear of reprisals. In Syria, Nepal, and other regions in the climate policy “delicate” according to Olivia Amos, the women are resisting, sometimes by going against norms and traditions or by the simple fact of survival in a country where the most basic human rights, such as freely dispose of his body, are violated.
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The five portraits of the week are only a preview of the photographic project of Doctors of the world. Sixty portraits and testimonies will be exposed to Bordeaux and other French cities in the autumn, before touring the world in 2020. “With Unsung Heroes , we want to give a global vision and more representative of what(s) fight(s) against violence against women,” says the coordinator of Doctors of the World, and show that even in Europe, we are not immune to a reversal of the situation vis-à-vis our rights.”