Reading Room Exhibition: Child Survivors’ Drawings of the Genocide in Darfur
20 January 2020 – 1 April 2020
Following on from the recent news that the transitional government that has replaced Omar al-Bashir in Sudan will co-operate to ensure his appearance before the International Criminal Court in The Hague to face trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity, we wanted to bring your attention to a current exhibition displayed at The Wiener Holocaust Library.
The Library’s Reading Room exhibition, Child Survivors’ Drawings of the Genocide in Darfur, features drawings by child survivors of the genocide and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by deposed President Omar al-Bashir’s Sudanese government forces and the Janjaweed militia against non-Arab Darfuri people since 2003.
This exhibition features drawings by child survivors of the genocide and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by deposed President Omar al Bashir’s Sudanese government forces and the Janjaweed militia against non-Arab Darfuri people since 2003. The drawings have been donated to The Wiener Holocaust Library by Waging Peace, a human rights organisation that campaigns against genocide and abuses in Sudan. The drawings provide important evidence about the nature of the atrocities committed in Darfur, produced by some of the youngest victims.
The Collection of Evidence by Waging Peace
In 2007, Waging Peace’s anonymous researcher gathered evidence and testimonies from Darfuri refugees in refugee camps in Chad. The researcher initially collected testimonies from adults, who told her that their children had witnessed the atrocities committed by Sudanese government forces and Janjaweed militia. The researcher gave paper and pencils to children aged between 6 and 18 and asked them to record what their dreams for the future were and what their strongest memory was.
The majority of the children drew pictures of attacks on their villages.
In 2009, the International Criminal Court accepted a number of these drawings collected by Waging Peace as contextual evidence of the crimes committed in Darfur. The pattern that emerges from these drawings corroborates other evidence about the attacks in Darfur and contradicts the account given by the Government of Sudan to the ICC.
Waging Peace donated the documents to The Wiener Library in 2014. In 2019, The Library accepted a further donation of drawings by children who have faced persecution by Sudanese government forces in the Nuba Mountains in southern Sudan, along with petitions produced in refugee camps in Darfur calling for the prosecution of the perpetrators of human rights violations, and eyewitness testimonies from adults who experienced the violence in Darfur collected in refugee camps in Chad.