Exposition « Guerre et Paix » à Monaco

Source : Guerre et Paix

« Cette exposition est dédiée à ces femmes extraordinaires qui ont accepté d’être photographiées. J’espère que leur témoignage contribuera à mettre un visage sur toutes celles qui continuent à souffrir en silence. » Nick Danziger

Les films documentaires et les photographies de Nick Danziger ont reçu de nombreuses distinctions comme le Prix Italia pour le meilleur film documentaire de l’année et le World Press Award pour un « portrait miroir » de George Bush et Tony Blair alors qu’ils s’entendent sur le déclenchement du conflit en Iraq en 2003. Ses photographies font maintenant partie de nombreuses collections de musées à travers le monde.

Il y a dix ans, Nick Danziger exposait dans plusieurs pays les images de onze femmes ou jeunes filles meurtries par la guerre, qu’il avait réalisées à la demande du Comité international de la Croix Rouge.

Dix années plus tard, Nick Danziger est parti à leur recherche. Qu’étaient-elles devenues ?

Grâce à la mobilisation des antennes locales du Mouvement Croix-Rouge et d’autres organisations internationales, il a retrouvé la trace de ces femmes et les a re-photographiées dans leur quotidien d’aujourd’hui. Pour certaines, la situation a peu évolué tandis que d’autres se reconstruisent et mènent à présent une vie normale, loin des turpitudes qu’elles ont dû subir.

L’exposition « GUERRE ET PAIX, Femmes dans le XXIème siècle » permet de découvrir les photographies de ces onze femmes que Nick Danziger a suivi au cours de ces dix dernières années mais présente également d’autres photographies de ce photographe sur le thème de la femme victime de conflits.

« Nick Danziger est un homme polyvalent. Il abandonne une prometteuse carrière de peintre pour voyager et devient auteur de best sellers dans les années 1980. Son premier livre, Danziger’s Travels, est toujours en vente aujourd’hui. Dans les années 1990, ses films, réalisés pour la BBC et d’autres grandes chaînes internationales remportent des prix. Pendant toute cette période, Nick prend des photos, à titre d’illustration et de souvenirs, dans un premier temps, puis dans le cadre de la réalisation de ses films et enfin, depuis dix ans, essentiellement en tant que photojournaliste et documentariste.

Tous ces mots, s’ils décrivent les activités de Nick, ne le définissent pas pour autant. Nick Danziger est avant tout un voyageur, un conteur d’histoires et un explorateur de lieux et de situations que la plupart d’entre nous n’oseraient pas approcher. Il est un citoyen du monde contemporain, à travers le regard duquel nous pouvons commencer à comprendre le monde qui nous entoure.

Sa passion du voyage est liée à son immense fascination pour les gens. Au cours de toutes ces années passées à travailler avec lui, j’ai appris à ne pas m’étonner du profond respect et de l’affection qu’ont pour lui ses collègues et les personnes qu’il côtoie lors de ses reportages : du personnage politique et de son conseiller en communication, au chauffeur de taxi et au concierge d’hôtel, tous sont pris par son charme et l’intérêt véritable qu’il manifeste envers eux et envers leurs vies.

Le drame que vivent les gens en temps de guerre, de famine, ou de troubles civils, peut être extrêmement dur, mais Nick sait que leur histoire ne s’arrête pas là. Dans cette rétrospective, Nick n’est pas uniquement un grand photographe mais il est un homme qui se préoccupe assez des personnes pour revenir. Il retourne encore et encore dans les pays touchés par les conflits pour suivre et voir comment a évolué la vie des gens, parfois en bien, mais pas toujours.

Bien souvent, en temps de guerre et de conflits, c’est l’histoire de la vie des femmes qui révèle la véritable ampleur de l’horreur. Ce sont leurs histoires de force et de stoïcisme qui peuvent inspirer et émouvoir le monde et l’amener à agir. En racontant ces histoires, nous espérons que cette œuvre saura vous toucher et vous inspirer. »

Neil Burgess. Commissaire de l’exposition.

Neil Burgess a une longue carrière de conservateur, rédacteur, et écrivain dans le domaine de la photographie. Il débute dans  les « arts publics » et dirige pendant de nombreuses années la Galerie Open Eye à Liverpool avant de fonder et diriger le Bureau londonien de Magnum Photos. Après une période en tant que directeur de la société mère de Magnum à New York il crée sa propre société *nbpictures, qui lui permet de présenter le travail d’un certain nombre d’artistes et photographes. Il est l’éditeur de Nick Danziger depuis près de dix ans. Marié et père de quatre enfants, il vit à Londres.

Du 7 au 30 septembre 2011
Tous les jours de 13h à 19h, fermé le lundi
Entrée libre
Salle d’exposition du quai Antoine Ier
4, quai Antoine Ier
98000 MONACO

Direction des Affaires Culturelles
Tel : +377 98 98 83 03
Renseignements : danziger@monaco.mc ou www.nickdanziger.com

© Nick Danziger 

Does Conflict Empower Women? By Mushtaq Ul haq Ahmad Sikander

A lire sur CounterCurrents

Traduction ici.

05 September, 2011
Countercurrents.org

“Necessity is the mother of Invention” is a well proven fact; similar has been the case with women of Kashmir. The armed conflict has imposed on them new alien roles, which they have readily accepted and are fulfilling the responsibilities of the same. During the initial phase of armed struggle, the women rubbed shoulders with men, and in many cases proved more effective than men, especially when the army or police would pick up the youth. The women of the locality would stage protests outside the army camps and pickets which would force the army to release the youth. The women would even resist the illegal detention of any youth, and would protest alongwith men against the atrocities of the State and army.

When the things turned ugly, and women found themselves in the line of fire, they retreated a bit from the active protests as the killings, rapes, abductions, torture and illegal detentions were threatening to disrupt the whole Social and Family life, which would have ultimately led to anarchy, but women took charge of their lives and responsibility of their families; they were overburdened by the challenges of extended responsibilities and roles but they didn’t panic and only due to their perseverance and steadfastness, a Social catastrophe was avoided. In the families whose lone bread earners were killed or disappeared, women began to shoulder the economic responsibilities, to educate their children and drive the cart of daily life.

Illiterate women, whose sons, spouses, brothers or fathers were serving jail sentences in different parts of Kashmir and India, began to follow their legal suits, contacted lawyers, got to learn about the draconian laws under which their beloved ones were imprisoned, got exposed to the legal clauses and knew which judges were hearing their cases. They began to visit various jails, torture and detention centers and traveled to alien places, which provided them diverse exposure, and they are well aware of the location of prisons, courts and cheap hotels to stay during which the trail was going on. Thus their personal tragedies made them emerge as empowered women, who control the lives of their kith and kin, despite the impediments of education, gender and birth.

Thousands of men have been killed in staged, fake encounters and in custody by the army and Police too. Then there are men, who have been picked by the army or police and since then none has heard about them, army and police claims they have run away from the custody, whereas their families allege that the disappeared souls are either in the custody of the agencies that picked them or have been killed who are occupying the unknown graves. According to the unofficial sources more than ten thousand persons are disappeared in Kashmir, and there are more than three thousand half widows(Half Widows are those women whose husbands have disappeared in the custody and there is no consensus among the scholars of different schools of thought about the stipulated time after which they can be pronounced as Widows and have the right to remarry). The disappearance is a brutal continuous source of agony for the family and those belonging to the victim as they always remain in a dilemma about the status of the victim, neither the law is able to declare him dead nor the dear ones are ready to accept him as dead, as the victim has vanished in thin air.

To follow the cases of these disappeared souls, mothers of the disappeared sons got together under the chairmanship of Parveena Ahangar, whose own son Javed Ahmad Ahangar is missing since 1990s from the army’s custody to form the Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) in 1994. Later on half widows too joined APDP. Since 1994 till date they have been fighting a continuous legal battle for Justice demanding the whereabouts of their beloved ones, which till now has yielded nothing, but Parveena a middle aged, illiterate, common woman has reiterated never to surrender or give up, and is inspiring others to follow her suit. On the 10th of every month, members of APDP stage a peaceful silent protest in the Pratap Park, located in the heart of Srinagar. Parveena is regularly invited to attend different seminars and conferences in different parts of the world, where she shares her agony and agony of thousands others.

The stalwarts of armed insurgency, most of whom either have been killed or have joined Pro-Freedom politics have been grossly negligent towards building institutions for the victims of conflict, instead the money which was contributed and channeled through them to take care of the victims of the conflict was siphoned and swindled off by the majority of them either for personal or political use, and the victims were left high and dry; and forced to fend for themselves which left them in pathetic conditions, where they are forced to be exploited in multi dimensional ways. It is one of the reasons where the common masses feel disgusted against the flag bearers of Aazadi, as they can’t relate their miseries and conditions to them. APDP with its little means tries to cater to the needs of the families of disappeared souls. Parveena holds that only mothers know the agony of losing a son, hence mothers have to be in the forefront in the struggle for Justice.

Armed insurgency which now has lost its momentum as a result of which women now are regaining their public space back once again, and are even on the forefront of the protests that have rocked Kashmir Valley for last three consecutive years since 2008. Women are also active in the Peace and Reconciliation efforts too, though these initiatives are still an elite venture.

Thus conflict made women of Kashmir to acquire new roles, and with it came its own set of problems and responsibilities and women have proved to be oceans of sacrifice and courage and with a smiling face they are delivering what these roles demand from them. But there is a flipside of the conflict which is having an adverse effect on women and has made them more vulnerable to various evils and their rights are violated with impunity.

The incidents of Domestic violence have gone up due to the impact of conflict, as the men folk are being daily humiliated by the army and police bruising their self esteem and crushing their self confidence, who in turn to want to regain and assert their authority, stature, status and manliness against women hence coerce them to submission. They avenge their humiliation from their womenfolk, which even in many cases has resulted in death.

The women related to militants and Pro-Freedom voices suffer from governmental and State apathy, hostility and hate at every step of their lives, and those related to renegades or counter insurgents from Social apathy, as they are declared as Social outcastes, and their women and children have to face a host of problems.

Families, whose bread earners have been killed, find women trying hard to keep the family together, often neglecting their own health. The financial constraints drive them from pillar to post and cultural impediments and social norms don’t even permit some of them to beg.

Previously it was the father, brother, husband or son who used to provide security to his daughter, sister, wife or mother but given the situation prevalent in Kashmir the roles have been reversed. The wo
men shoulder their men when they are encountered with a calamity, though social norms inhibit women visiting Police Stations, army camps and torture centers, but the situation demands so and in the process they get a bad name label.

Child marriage is becoming rampant in the heavily militarized areas, so as to escape rape and molestation by the army. The drop out rate of girls from schools is also on rise, in order to escape the routine taunts and harassment by the army enroute to school. Some girls have been even forced to marry certain people of influence through coercion by Police and counterinsurgents and in case of resistance; either the girl has been raped or killed. There has been no survey about the exact number of rapes committed against the Kashmiri women but in a survey conducted by Medicans San Frontiers(Doctors Without Borders) an International NGO in 2006 on “Kashmir: Violence and Health”, 11.6 percent of interviewees said they had been victims of sexual violence since 1989. Almost two thirds of the people interviewed (63.9 percent) by MSF had heard about cases of rape during the same period. The study revealed that Kashmiri women were among the worst sufferers of sexual violence in the world. The figure is much higher than that of Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Chechnya and Ingushetia. Many teenage girls are now going for counseling in order to cope the rising psychological impact of the atrocities on women perpetuated by army and police. The suicide rate among women of Kashmir is on rise and the ramifications of conflict have contributed to its steep increase among women.

The women of Kashmir have been dragged to flesh trade, and they are exploited in this process as they are offered money sometimes but most of times denied. The lower rung Special Police Officers(SPO)s are even a part of this vicious circle, who would marry a girl, then sell her to others or make her to visit their higher officers for sexual favors. These women forced in the flesh trade are even used as mukhbirs(spies) or even coerced to drag other girls in their net, thus the vicious circle continued and the girls had no escape from the same. Luring the poor girls for jobs and then sexually exploiting them, came to the forefront on a large scale in the form of VIP Sex Scandal 2006 in which high rank police officials, top bureaucrats and politicians were involved in sexploitation of the young local girls, all of whom were educated, some even with bachelors and masters degree, though most of then were not poor, but they needed jobs for attaining social status. In Kashmir it now has become difficult for young unemployed girls to find a suitable groom, as the marriage market demands the girl to be employed, and more the high paying job, more are the chances of having a similarly high status groom, this trend is making the girls run helter skelter for jobs and in the process fall in the trap of sex exploiters, who in this case happened to be men of Power.

The sexploitation of women in Kashmir still continues unabated, and now there are many clear signals that Kashmiri girls are even trafficked to other states for prostitution, and sooner or later this brutal fact will too dawn on the people of Kashmir.

The recent population census of 2011 has brought to fore various shocking facts about women of Kashmir, of which the drastic decline in the female sex ratio will have serious ramifications in the future, though some leaders have even advised the men to turn gay, but we must try to find the real roots of this decline, as the Sex ratio has dropped from 906 per thousand males in 2001 to 883 in 2011, as the decadal census proved. One of the reasons for this drastic fall is the vulnerability of women via the presence of army in Kashmir who ravage their chastity with impunity, hence numerous incidents of rape and molestations by the army and zero percent persecution of the culprits has reinforced the belief of parents that they can’t afford the liability of a girl child. Other reasons like Dowry, patriarchal hostility towards girl child, unemployment and a host of other issues too contribute to the brutal female feticide, which is continuing unabated, despite dire warnings in the Quran against such inhuman, uncivilized, brutish, nasty and savage practice. Also many girls have been left unclaimed in hospitals by their parents, giving rise to another issue of catering to these infants, which mostly are adopted and if not the orphanages, special homes have no arrangement for the same. The Social & Child rights workers encounter serious challenges while addressing this new problem.

Women of Kashmir even in 21st century suffer from scores of problems and issues in this corner of the world, where women still have numerous inhibitions and are far from empowered. Women of Kashmir have adopted and acquired new roles that conflict imposed and demanded from them, but the perpetual denial of Justice, failure to bestow equal rights on them, structural prejudices prevalent in society against them, absence of institutions which will cater to their needs, marginalization of their dissent, suppression of their voices and turning a blind eye towards their sacrifices and contribution has obviously led to their souls being bruised, vision blurred, physique burdened, courage undermined, voices chocked but despite all these hurdles they play a significant part in holding the family and society together. They have always proven to be an inspiration for men to continue their struggle against occupation and atrocities. Every conflict brings in its wake new roles for women, and in most cases women comply with the same, same has happened in Kashmir too, but these roles have both Positive as well negative implications depending on the manner, means and degree of exposure to the conflict and its impact on the lives of women.

What more new roles or disastrous implications conflict will have on women of Kashmir in future, only time will tell!!

Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander is Writer-Activist based in Srinagar, Kashmir and can be reached at sikandarmushtaq@gmail.com

Argentina military approve first gay officers marriage; second couple waiting

A lire sur MercoPress

An Argentine Lieutenant colonel and an Army captain will become the first gay military couple to marry since Argentina legalized such unions last year.

In 2009, Argentina ended its ban on gay and bisexual troops serving openly. The following year, the country became the first in Latin America and tenth worldwide to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.

According to the military publication Tiempo Militar, the couple, whose names and gender were not disclosed, will marry in the city of Buenos Aires, and the military has approved the union, meaning the couple can marry in full uniform if so they wish.

The paper also reported that a second couple has made a similar request. The three services commanders and the Minister of Defence decided on the matter.

Cesar Cigliutti of the gay rights group Comunidad Homosexual Argentina (CHA) told Clarin that the union is “important and adds much needed visibility to gays, lesbians and bisexuals serving in the armed forces, an area that has traditionally been strongly conservative.”

“We are confident that requests for marriage will continue to grow and join the more than 2,600 same-sex couples already married in Argentina,” he added.

Will Storr, « The rape of men », The Observer, 17 juillet 2011

A lire sur The Observer.

Sexual violence is one of the most horrific weapons of war, an instrument of terror used against women. Yet huge numbers of men are also victims. In this harrowing report, Will Storr travels to Uganda to meet traumatised survivors, and reveals how male rape is endemic in many of the world’s conflicts.

Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility. Yet every now and then someone gathers the courage to tell of it. This is just what happened on an ordinary afternoon in the office of a kind and careful counsellor in Kampala, Uganda. For four years Eunice Owiny had been employed by Makerere University’s Refugee Law Project (RLP) to help displaced people from all over Africa work through their traumas. This particular case, though, was a puzzle. A female client was having marital difficulties. « My husband can’t have sex, » she complained. « He feels very bad about this. I’m sure there’s something he’s keeping from me. »

Owiny invited the husband in. For a while they got nowhere. Then Owiny asked the wife to leave. The man then murmured cryptically: « It happened to me. » Owiny frowned. He reached into his pocket and pulled out an old sanitary pad. « Mama Eunice, » he said. « I am in pain. I have to use this. »

Laying the pus-covered pad on the desk in front of him, he gave up his secret. During his escape from the civil war in neighbouring Congo, he had been separated from his wife and taken by rebels. His captors raped him, three times a day, every day for three years. And he wasn’t the only one. He watched as man after man was taken and raped. The wounds of one were so grievous that he died in the cell in front of him.

« That was hard for me to take, » Owiny tells me today. « There are certain things you just don’t believe can happen to a man, you get me? But I know now that sexual violence against men is a huge problem. Everybody has heard the women’s stories. But nobody has heard the men’s. »

It’s not just in East Africa that these stories remain unheard. One of the few academics to have looked into the issue in any detail is Lara Stemple, of the University of California’s Health and Human Rights Law Project. Her study Male Rape and Human Rights notes incidents of male sexual violence as a weapon of wartime or political aggression in countries such as Chile, Greece, Croatia, Iran, Kuwait, the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia. Twenty-one per cent of Sri Lankan males who were seen at a London torture treatment centre reported sexual abuse while in detention. In El Salvador, 76% of male political prisoners surveyed in the 1980s described at least one incidence of sexual torture. A study of 6,000 concentration-camp inmates in Sarajevo found that 80% of men reported having been raped.

I’ve come to Kampala to hear the stories of the few brave men who have agreed to speak to me: a rare opportunity to find out about a controversial and deeply taboo issue. In Uganda, survivors are at risk of arrest by police, as they are likely to assume that they’re gay – a crime in this country and in 38 of the 53 African nations. They will probably be ostracised by friends, rejected by family and turned away by the UN and the myriad international NGOs that are equipped, trained and ready to help women. They are wounded, isolated and in danger. In the words of Owiny: « They are despised. »

But they are willing to talk, thanks largely to the RLP’s British director, Dr Chris Dolan. Dolan first heard of wartime sexual violence against men in the late 1990s while researching his PhD in northern Uganda, and he sensed that the problem might be dramatically underestimated. Keen to gain a fuller grasp of its depth and nature, he put up posters throughout Kampala in June 2009 announcing a « workshop » on the issue in a local school. On the day, 150 men arrived. In a burst of candour, one attendee admitted: « It’s happened to all of us here. » It soon became known among Uganda’s 200,000-strong refugee population that the RLP were helping men who had been raped during conflict. Slowly, more victims began to come forward.

I meet Jean Paul on the hot, dusty roof of the RLP’s HQ in Old Kampala. He wears a scarlet high-buttoned shirt and holds himself with his neck lowered, his eyes cast towards the ground, as if in apology for his impressive height. He has a prominent upper lip that shakes continually – a nervous condition that makes him appear as if he’s on the verge of tears.

Jean Paul was at university in Congo, studying electronic engineering, when his father – a wealthy businessman – was accused by the army of aiding the enemy and shot dead. Jean Paul fled in January 2009, only to be abducted by rebels. Along with six other men and six women he was marched to a forest in the Virunga National Park.

Later that day, the rebels and their prisoners met up with their cohorts who were camped out in the woods. Small camp fires could be seen here and there between the shadowy ranks of trees. While the women were sent off to prepare food and coffee, 12 armed fighters surrounded the men. From his place on the ground, Jean Paul looked up to see the commander leaning over them. In his 50s, he was bald, fat and in military uniform. He wore a red bandana around his neck and had strings of leaves tied around his elbows.

« You are all spies, » the commander said. « I will show you how we punish spies. » He pointed to Jean Paul. « Remove your clothes and take a position like a Muslim man. »

Jean Paul thought he was joking. He shook his head and said: « I cannot do these things. »

The commander called a rebel over. Jean Paul could see that he was only about nine years old. He was told, « Beat this man and remove this clothes. » The boy attacked him with his gun butt. Eventually, Jean Paul begged: « Okay, okay. I will take off my clothes. » Once naked, two rebels held him in a kneeling position with his head pushed towards the earth.

At this point, Jean Paul breaks off. The shaking in his lip more pronounced than ever, he lowers his head a little further and says: « I am sorry for the things I am going to say now. » The commander put his left hand on the back of his skull and used his right to beat him on the backside « like a horse ». Singing a witch doctor song, and with everybody watching, the commander then began. The moment he started, Jean Paul vomited.

Eleven rebels waited in a queue and raped Jean Paul in turn. When he was too exhausted to hold himself up, the next attacker would wrap his arm under Jean Paul’s hips and lift him by the stomach. He bled freely: « Many, many, many bleeding, » he says, « I could feel it like water. » Each of the male prisoners was raped 11 times that night and every night that followed.

On the ninth day, they were looking for firewood when Jean Paul spotted a huge tree with roots that formed a small grotto of shadows. Seizing his moment, he crawled in and watched, trembling, as the rebel guards searched for him. After five hours of watching their feet as they hunted for him, he listened as they came up with a plan: they would let off a round of gunfire and tell the commander that Jean Paul had been killed. Eventually he emerged, weak from his ordeal and his diet of only two bananas per day during his captivity. Dressed only in his underpants, he crawled through the undergrowth « slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly, like a snake » back into town.

Today, despite his hospital treatment, Jean Paul still bleeds when he walk
s. Like many victims, the wounds are such that he’s supposed to restrict his diet to soft foods such as bananas, which are expensive, and Jean Paul can only afford maize and millet. His brother keeps asking what’s wrong with him. « I don’t want to tell him, » says Jean Paul. « I fear he will say: ‘Now, my brother is not a man.' »

It is for this reason that both perpetrator and victim enter a conspiracy of silence and why male survivors often find, once their story is discovered, that they lose the support and comfort of those around them. In the patriarchal societies found in many developing countries, gender roles are strictly defined.

« In Africa no man is allowed to be vulnerable, » says RLP’s gender officer Salome Atim. « You have to be masculine, strong. You should never break down or cry. A man must be a leader and provide for the whole family. When he fails to reach that set standard, society perceives that there is something wrong. »

Often, she says, wives who discover their husbands have been raped decide to leave them. « They ask me: ‘So now how am I going to live with him? As what? Is this still a husband? Is it a wife?’ They ask, ‘If he can be raped, who is protecting me?’ There’s one family I have been working closely with in which the husband has been raped twice. When his wife discovered this, she went home, packed her belongings, picked up their child and left. Of course that brought down this man’s heart. »

Back at RLP I’m told about the other ways in which their clients have been made to suffer. Men aren’t simply raped, they are forced to penetrate holes in banana trees that run with acidic sap, to sit with their genitals over a fire, to drag rocks tied to their penis, to give oral sex to queues of soldiers, to be penetrated with screwdrivers and sticks. Atim has now seen so many male survivors that, frequently, she can spot them the moment they sit down. « They tend to lean forward and will often sit on one buttock, » she tells me. « When they cough, they grab their lower regions. At times, they will stand up and there’s blood on the chair. And they often have some kind of smell. »

Because there has been so little research into the rape of men during war, it’s not possible to say with any certainty why it happens or even how common it is – although a rare 2010 survey, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 22% of men and 30% of women in Eastern Congo reported conflict-related sexual violence. As for Atim, she says: « Our staff are overwhelmed by the cases we’ve got, but in terms of actual numbers? This is the tip of the iceberg. »

Later on I speak with Dr Angella Ntinda, who treats referrals from the RLP. She tells me: « Eight out of 10 patients from RLP will be talking about some sort of sexual abuse. »

« Eight out of 10 men? » I clarify.

« No. Men and women, » she says.

« What about men? »

« I think all the men. »

I am aghast.

« All of them? » I say.

« Yes, » she says. « All the men. »

The research by Lara Stemple at the University of California doesn’t only show that male sexual violence is a component of wars all over the world, it also suggests that international aid organisations are failing male victims. Her study cites a review of 4,076 NGOs that have addressed wartime sexual violence. Only 3% of them mentioned the experience of men in their literature. « Typically, » Stemple says, « as a passing reference. »

On my last night I arrive at the house of Chris Dolan. We’re high on a hill, watching the sun go down over the neighbourhoods of Salama Road and Luwafu, with Lake Victoria in the far distance. As the air turns from blue to mauve to black, a muddled galaxy of white, green and orange bulbs flickers on; a pointillist accident spilled over distant valleys and hills. A magnificent hubbub rises from it all. Babies screaming, children playing, cicadas, chickens, songbirds, cows, televisions and, floating above it all, the call to prayer at a distant mosque.

Stemple’s findings on the failure of aid agencies is no surprise to Dolan. « The organisations working on sexual and gender-based violence don’t talk about it, » he says. « It’s systematically silenced. If you’re very, very lucky they’ll give it a tangential mention at the end of a report. You might get five seconds of: ‘Oh and men can also be the victims of sexual violence.’ But there’s no data, no discussion. »

As part of an attempt to correct this, the RLP produced a documentary in 2010 called Gender Against Men. When it was screened, Dolan says that attempts were made to stop him. « Were these attempts by people in well-known, international aid agencies? » I ask.

« Yes, » he replies. « There’s a fear among them that this is a zero-sum game; that there’s a pre-defined cake and if you start talking about men, you’re going to somehow eat a chunk of this cake that’s taken them a long time to bake. » Dolan points to a November 2006 UN report that followed an international conference on sexual violence in this area of East Africa.

« I know for a fact that the people behind the report insisted the definition of rape be restricted to women, » he says, adding that one of the RLP’s donors, Dutch Oxfam, refused to provide any more funding unless he’d promise that 70% of his client base was female. He also recalls a man whose case was « particularly bad » and was referred to the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR. « They told him: ‘We have a programme for vulnerable women, but not men.' »

It reminds me of a scene described by Eunice Owiny: « There is a married couple, » she said. « The man has been raped, the woman has been raped. Disclosure is easy for the woman. She gets the medical treatment, she gets the attention, she’s supported by so many organisations. But the man is inside, dying. »

« In a nutshell, that’s exactly what happens, » Dolan agrees. « Part of the activism around women’s rights is: ‘Let’s prove that women are as good as men.’ But the other side is you should look at the fact that men can be weak and vulnerable. »

Margot Wallström, the UN special representative of the secretary-general for sexual violence in conflict, insists in a statement that the UNHCR extends its services to refugees of both genders. But she concedes that the « great stigma » men face suggests that the real number of survivors is higher than that reported. Wallström says the focus remains on women because they are « overwhelmingly » the victims. Nevertheless, she adds, « we do know of many cases of men and boys being raped. »

But when I contact Stemple by email, she describes a « constant drum beat that women are the rape victims » and a milieu in which men are treated as a « monolithic perpetrator class ».

« International human rights law leaves out men in nearly all instruments designed to address sexual violence, » she continues. « The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000 treats wartime sexual violence as something that only impacts on women and girls… Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced $44m to implement this resolution. Because of its entirely exclusive focus on female victims, it seems unlikely that any of these new funds will reach the thousands of men and boys who suffer from this kind of abuse. Ignoring male rape not only neglects men, it also harms women by reinforcing a viewpoint that equates ‘female’ with ‘victim’, thus hampering our ability to see women as strong and empowered. In the same way, silence about male victims reinforces unhealthy expectations about men and their supposed invulnerability. »

Considering Dolan’s finding that « female rape is significantly underreported and mal
e rape almost never », I ask Stemple if, following her research, she believes it might be a hitherto unimagined part of all wars. « No one knows, but I do think it’s safe to say that it’s likely that it’s been a part of many wars throughout history and that taboo has played a part in the silence. »

As I leave Uganda, there’s a detail of a story that I can’t forget. Before receiving help from the RLP, one man went to see his local doctor. He told him he had been raped four times, that he was injured and depressed and his wife had threatened to leave him. The doctor gave him a Panadol.

Survivors’ names have been changed and identities hidden for their protection. The Refugee Law Project is a partner organisation of Christian Aid (christianaid.org.uk)

Décès du dernier déporté pour homosexualité Rudolf Brazda, fait chevalier de la Légion d’honneur en avril dernier, s’est éteint mercredi à l’âge de 98 ans.

A lire sur Libération.fr

Le dernier survivant connu des « Triangles roses », des hommes déportés pour homosexualité par les nazis, Rudolf Brazda, fait chevalier de la Légion d’honneur en avril dernier, s’est éteint mercredi à l’âge de 98 ans.

« Rudolf s’est endormi paisiblement dans son sommeil à l’aube du 3 août, il résidait depuis le mois de juin dans un établissement hospitalier pour personnes âgées dépendantes, à Bantzenheim (Haut-Rhin) », selon son entourage.

Les obsèques de cet homme naturalisé Français en 1960 auront lieu la semaine prochaine à Mulhouse. « Conformément aux dispositions de son testament, sa dépouille sera incinérée et ses cendres déposées à côté de celles de son compagnon de vie de plus de 50 années, Edouard Mayer, décédé à Mulhouse en 2003 », ajoute le communiqué.

M. Rudolf Brazda avait fait partie des quelque 10.000 personnes déportées sous Hitler en raison de leur orientation sexuelle, les nazis considérant l’homosexualité comme une épidémie dangereuse pour la perpétuation de la race.

Il avait été déporté au camp de concentration de Buchenwald où il porta le triangle rose, avant de choisir de vivre en France.

Né en 1913 en Saxe (Allemagne) dans une famille tchèque germanophone, Rudolf prend conscience de son homosexualité comme « une disposition naturelle qu’il accepte comme telle, conscient d’avoir eu la chance d’avoir toujours eu un compagnon à ses côtés ».

En 1937, il est condamné à six mois de prison pour « débauche entre hommes », puis expulsé vers la Tchécoslovaquie. Là, après l’annexion des Sudètes par Hitler, il est à nouveau jugé et condamné pour le même type de faits, cette fois à 14 mois de prison. Cette peine purgée, Rudolf, considéré comme un récidiviste, est interné au camp de concentration de Buchenwald, dans le centre de l’Allemagne. Il survécut à 32 mois d’enfer dans ce camp, grâce à son amitié avec un kapo communiste et à « un peu plus de chance que les autres ».

Rudolf Brazda avait gardé le silence sur les motifs de sa déportation jusqu’en 2008 mais l’annonce cette année-là de l’inauguration d’un mémorial aux victimes homosexuelles du nazisme à Berlin poussa des proches à l’inciter à faire connaître son histoire.

 

Aviatrices sous le IIIe Reich

Synopsis :

Dès les années 1920, Elly Beinhorn, Hanna Reitsch, Beate Uhse et Melitta von Stauffenberg s’illustrent par leur volonté farouche de devenir pilote, leur esprit pionnier et leur indépendance. Mais l’arrivée des nazis au pouvoir les place devant un terrible dilemme : mettre leur talent au service de la Luftwaffe ou rester au sol ? Leur désir de voler l’emporte, sauf chez Elly Beinhorn, qui refuse de servir l’armée. Après avoir été pilote d’essais en piqué sur des Stukas, Melitta von Stauffenberg se retrouve mêlée à la préparation de l’attentat contre Hitler en juillet 1944. Elle sera abattue en tentant de repérer, à bord d’un avion, le camp où son mari a été incarcéré après l’attentat manqué.

Genre : Documentaire – Culture Infos

Pays : Allemagne

Nationalité : allemand

Date de sortie : 2010

Durée : 52 mn

Diffusé en France le Mercredi 8 juin 2011 à 20h40 sur Arte

Le Soldat dieu

Le Soldat dieu (Japon, 2010)

« Le Soldat dieu » est le dernier film du réalisateur japonais Koji Wakamatsu. Il s’agit de l’adaptation d’une nouvelle d’Edogawa Ranpo. Wakamatsu est un réalisateur antimilitariste et antinationaliste, déjà connu en France par plusieurs de ces films comme United Red Army.

Après avoir participé à la deuxième guerre sino-japonaise (1937-1945), un soldat rentre dans son village au Japon comme un héros de guerre, mais il n’est plus le même, amputé de tous ses membres, il est désormais un homme-tronc. Sa femme doit être à la hauteur de son mari héros.

Vous trouverez dans ce film non seulement une représentation du dévouement à la nation mais l’expression extrême de l’oppression de genre à une époque où les femmes étaient à peine considérées comme des êtres humains au Japon .

Ilaria Simonetti

Left by the ship

Left by the Ship (Italie, Etats-Unis- Philippines, 2010)
Voilà la bande d’annonce du film-documentaire « Left by the Ship » réalisé par deux metteurs en scène italiens, Emma Rossi-Landi et Alberto Vendemmiati.
Pendant des années Subic Bay a été la plus grande base navale américaine hors des Etats Unis. Il y a 18 ans, la base militaire ferme et ses soldats rentrent dans leur pays, laissant derrière eux des milliers d’enfants nés des relations avec des Philippines travailleuses du sexe. Jamais réclamés par leurs pères, les améroasiatiques ne sont pas des enfants comme les autres : différents dans leur apparence, fortement discriminés dans la société philippine, ils ont une très faible estime d’eux mêmes. Voilà donc, un documentaire intéressant pour tous ceux qui étudient les rapports de sexe en contexte de guerre.
Ilaria Simonetti

Un viol toutes les 3 heures dans l’armée américaine

Un viol toutes les 3 heures dans l’armée américaine

Le problème du viol dans l’armée américaine a longtemps été passé sous silence et continue d’ailleurs à l’être, raconte le quotidien britannique The Guardian, pointant la présence d’une culture de l’ignorance et de la confidentialité chez les militaires. 

C’est l’histoire de Kate Weber, violée, après un bal, par un officier qui l’avait conduite vers l’issue de secours d’un bâtiment pour soi-disant lui parler de son travail; c’est aussi celle de Rick Tringale, qui a subi un viol collectif dans son dortoir lors de ses premières semaines d’entraînement. On estime que 37% des agressions sexuelles dans l’armée sont commises sur des soldats. Pour Mic Hunter, auteur de l’essai Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse in America’s Military, cité par Newsweek, ce sont bien souvent des héterosexuels qui commettent ce type d’agressions, non par pulsion sexuelle, mais pour «remettre les gens à leur place». Dans ce cas, «l’agression sexuelle n’est pas une question de sexe, mais de violence».

Lire la suite ici

Violence Against Women in Post-Conflict

Violence Against Women in Post-Conflict

By Lyric Thompson, Amnesty USA’s Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group

Today we conclude our 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence blog series. Over the campaign, we’ve explored militarism and gender violence as related to such issues as small arms proliferation; women’s human rights defenders; and the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. It is fitting that we close the campaign with a look at some of the enduring elements of gender violence that continue after peace is officially declared, as we look toward a new year that will hopefully bring peace, equality and justice for all to a world rocked by revolution and social change.

We have explored the brutal effects of war when it comes to violence against women in countries in active conflict such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Afghanistan and Iraq.  War brings with it a culture of violence that now claims more civilian victims than combatants, the majority of those women and children. Yet to assume that with the declaration of peace comes an immediate cessation of violence would be incorrect; for women, the militarization of gender relations that accompanies war often results in higher incidence of violence after conflict.

Lire la suite ici.