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For Immediate Release

Boston Artists Partner with Physicians for Human Rights to Paint a Picture of Life in Darfur

Cambridge, Mass - 08/28/2009

Boston - On Saturday evening, Sep. 5, at the Atlantic Works Gallery in East Boston, local artists Elizabeth Hathaway and Joan Ryan, and Cambridge-based Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) unveil a new exhibition titled "Make Believe," a multi-media response to the effects of war on women and children in Darfur.

Through paintings, photographs and video the artists and the human rights group have teamed up to explore the unfolding tragedy in Darfur and the relentless toll sexual crimes are having on Darfuri women in refugee camps in neighboring Chad.

The artworks of Hathaway and Ryan explore the "whitewash of history where children are the hidden victims". By pairing with PHR the artists say they "hope to go beyond opening a dialogue on the victims of war and directly help women and child victims" by joining forces with a human rights group that is actively involved in the continuing crisis in western Sudan.

As part of this exciting show, PHR is unveiling a series of vivid and dramatic photographs, including images taken by volunteer doctors and human rights experts who travelled to refugee camps in eastern Chad last November. There, they interviewed more than 85 women who were raped in the camps or in Darfur. The victims' stories are documented in a wide-ranging report released in May by PHR called "Nowhere to Turn: Failure to Protect, Support and Assure Justice for Darfuri Women."

On opening night, PHR staff and supporters will be in attendance to discuss the long-term effects and fresh evidence of the ongoing violence against women and children of Darfur. Visitors can further explore PHR's work through a video and slide show display.

We invite you to come out to meet two of Boston's "activist artists", discover their work, and learn more about the campaigns and investigations being carried out by Physicians for Human Rights. A portion of funds raised from "Make Believe" will be donated to the on-going work of PHR.

  • Venue: Atlantic Works Gallery, 80 Border Street, 3rd Floor, East Boston
  • Opening Reception: Saturday, September 5, 2009
  • Time: 5-8 p.m.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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