On Her Shoulders
‘On Her Shoulders’ is a documentary from 2018 and follows Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nadia Murad on her three-month tour of Berlin, New York and Canada speaking to politicians and world leaders raising awareness on the atrocities of ISIS.
In 2014, Murad was 19 years old, when ISIS stormed Kocho (Iraq) and killed 600 men and kidnapped young women and girls and held them as sex slaves. She managed to escape slavery three months later.
While using women’s bodies as a weapon of war is as old as humankind, systematic rape is contrary to popular belief an invention of the twentieth century. This weapon is especially used in conflicts involving ethnic ‘cleansing’.
In many cultures, a raped woman is expelled from society. If the rape victim is married, she has to fear being excluded from her family life. If she is single, she loses her status as a worthy spouse.
The aim of sexual violence is not only to satisfy sexual desires on a primitive level, but more than that, to destroy the enemy completely in the long-term, by attacking family structures and the chain of reproduction.
Murad’s story became globally known, when she spoke to the UN Security Council in 2015 and urged the members to fight human trafficking and the weaponization of the female body. In 2017 the Security Council created an investigative team to collect evidence of ISIS’s crimes aiming at bringing them to the International Criminal Court and bring justice to the victims of the genocide against the Yezidi community.
REWILD is a short film created by Splash and Burn and the Spanish artist ESCIF in 2019. It was filmed in the rainforest on the Indonesian island Sumatra and it draws attention to the ecological devastation provoked by palm oil farming in Southeast Asia.
Sumatra’s forest shrunk by 40% in the past two decades and has been replaced by palm oil, paper pulp, and rubber plantations. In 2015 a big part of the forest in Indonesia was burned to clear the land for oil palms. Air pollution from fires in Indonesia that year - some natural, some not - contributed to at least 12,000 premature deaths. Nearly half of Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cutting or burning forests.
In the short film the artist ESCIF and Splash and Burn carved a rewind symbol into a palm oil plantation in Sumatra to recover awareness and respect for the earth. It was made possible by the Sumatran Orangutan Society, on a new forest restoration site. After clearing the palms, diverse vegetation has been replanted.
MIRZANA BEXHETI, MELISSA MUSSA AND LUCILA PIEDRA HARRIS
Mirzana, Melissa and Lucila are German and Spanish volunteers in Praxis organisation and are involved in the Human Rights campaign.