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In Kony's Shadow: new London exhibition explores LRA survivor stories

LRA_Survivor

Photo Credit: Christian Aid/ W Storr

Visit the exhibition at gallery@oxo or online at www.christianaid.org.uk/kony.

Click here to embed the trailer

04 March 2014 - A powerful new multimedia exhibition, In Kony’s Shadow, commissioned by Christian Aid, will open at gallery@oxo on London’s Southbank from 5-16 March 2014 featuring work by photographer Will Storr and filmmaker Tom Pietrasik.

The memories of a small but fanatical rebel group still cast a long shadow over war-ravaged northern Uganda.  Long after its retreat, whole communities still live in terror at the very whisper of its name. This is the story of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army and those it left behind.

Meet Norman Okello, a former child soldier abducted from his home at the age of 12, who struggled to hold on to his humanity during the two years he served with the rebels.

‘There is a time when you give up thinking you will ever get home – that you will die like this. All your pain comes out as aggression, rage and frustration. Sometimes as a human being, you have been pushed too far.’ Norman Okello.
 
Hear how Norman’s parents struggled when their son, now a trained killer, returned home.

Read the testimonies of civilians who spent years living in fear, not just from the LRA but the Ugandan government forces, as they were caught in the crossfire of a bloody war.

‘Alone, I dug a big grave up to my waist and buried the bodies of my family.’ Martin Olanya.

The exhibition also examines how the National Peace and Memory Documentation Centre, set up by the Refugee Law Project in Uganda, which received Christian Aid funding, is helping survivors of the conflict record their stories in order to document the true scale of the atrocities so that future generations might learn from the past.

The Lord’s Resistance Army operated in northern Uganda between 1987 and 2006, spreading terror throughout the population. Kony, a messianic leader, pursued his vision of an entirely new state based upon his twisted interpretation of the Ten Commandments combined with Acholi traditions for almost 20 years.  At the height of his power in Uganda at least 20,000 children were abducted and more than 1.9 million people forced to flee their homes,  resettling  in remote internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, or ‘protected villages’, where many subsequently died of cholera and other diseases.

In Kony’s Shadow is free entry and will be on display at gallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, London SE1 9PH from 5-16 March. This exhibition contains content some people may find disturbing.

If you would like further information please contact Emma Wigley on 0207 523 2444 or email ewigley@christian-aid.org. Alternatively please call the 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950.


 

Notes to editors:

1. gallery@oxo is owned and managed by Coin Street Community Builders: www.coinstreet.org

2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

3. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf explains how we set about this task.

4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org

5. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk