Water Mosaic echoes from home

pondering the mysteries, simplicity, and humor of life

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Haunting Invisibility

This past weekend was the national weekend of prayer for Darfur. If you read this blog or read the paper you've probably known that a national crisis is happening in the land of Sudan. Genocide has claimed more than 400,000 lives, not to mention the senseless violence that has left women raped, men emasculated, families and communities destroyed.

Many may remember Rwanda, especially if you saw Hotel Rwanda, and the atrocities that occurred between its people. A large difference between what is happening in Rwanda and Darfur is that women who are raped are not killed like they were in Rwanda. Rather, they are returned to their communities as outcasts, creating a class of invisible people. Rape has become a weapon of war used by the Khartoum government that keeps the Sudanese Liberation Army and the Justice Equality Movement from controlling any territory in Darfur.

These women are being virtually erased from their own people, tribe, and culture. Thanks to Susie Albert Miller, I ran across some haunting artwork that portrays their suffering plight. Beverly Collins, the artist behind these images, says, "In them I see a beauty that is free and willing to flaunt itself in the face of challenging and demoralizing conditions and circumstances. Although the the women are virtually invisible, as denoted in the absence of their faces, the fabrics and colors they adorn themselves with are full of life and the reflection of light." She goes on to say that the injustice inflicted upon the Sudanese women are a metaphor for the emotional , physical, and economical rape people experience in all the corners of this earth and the heroic steps victims of these acts take to survive.

Last Sunday I asked my church to pray for these people. I didn't know how many knew of the crime that has been ongoing in this region. I didn't know if anyone would care or would continue to pray or be aware of the problem after church. I certainly wasn't the person to speak up on such matters knowing my own failure and hypocrisies. But I asked everyone to face SE in the direction of Africa and had people express healing, acceptance, love with their bodies while we prayed. I'm no Bible expert but there seems to be examples of others expressing their prayers physically than just through speech. I hope that justice will arise out of the ashes of humanity's blindness.

For Beverly's sake, I erased the pictures. Go to her site to see more. Thanks.