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CONGO/WOMEN: PORTRAITS OF WAR
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James Cohan Gallery is pleased to host a one-night only, gallery preview of CONGO/WOMEN, an international photography exhibition by photojournalists Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, Ron Haviv, and James Nachtwey that serves as an educational campaign to raise awareness of the widespread sexual violence facing women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The exhibition features powerful life-sized photographs that convey the strength and courage of Congolese women.

For Information: Jane Cohan 212-714-9500 or Jane Saks 312-369-8839CONGO/WOMEN, Gallery Preview: Photography Exhibition and Reception at James Cohan Gallery, March 16th, 6-8pm

CONGO/WOMEN Portraits of War: The Democratic Republic of Congo is an international photography exhibition and educational campaign to raise awareness of the widespread sexual violence facing women and girls in Congo. The exhibition features powerful life-size photographs that convey the strength and courage of Congolese women, with accompanying essays that describe the impact of the crisis from a range of perspectives.

The exhibition features the work of international photojournalists Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, Ron Haviv, and James Nachtwey, . Congo/Women is co-produced by Art Works Projects and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College Chicago.

The Congo/Women exhibition, with a total of 38 images, demonstrates the impact of war on women, illustrates the physical reality of the crisis, and reveals specific cases of individuals who are personally affected by, and bear witness to, the region's extreme violence. Congo/Women will embark on a two-year tour beginning in 2009 to venues in North America, Europe and Africa, visiting universities, civic centers and community groups. Upcoming exhibition locations include New York, London, and Brussels. At each location representatives from organizations committed to humanitarian and gender-based violence work will join in efforts to create change and support advocacy.

FEATURED SPEAKERS – MARCH 16, 2009:

Carroll Bogert, Associate Director, Human Rights Watch; Noella Coursaris Musunka, Founder, Georges Malaika Foundation, Empowering African Girls Through Education; and Lynn Nottage, Playwright of Ruined, and MacArthur Fellow award recipient.

WHEN: Monday, March 16, 2009, 6:00-8:00 p.m. WHERE: James Cohan Gallery, 533 W. 26th Street Admission is free and open to the public.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist based in Istanbul, Turkey, where she photographs for the New York Times, National Geographic, and Fortune magazine, among others. She has worked extensively around the world including recent reporting on Darfur, Afghanistan, and Iraq. In Spring 2008, Addario received an Institute Fellowship to support her documentation of women and girls in the DRC for the Congo/Women Project.

Marcus Bleasdale has spent more than seven years covering the brutal conflict within the borders of the DRC. He is widely published in the UK, Europe and the USA in publications such as The Sunday Times Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine, Geo, Stern, The New Yorker, TIME, Newsweek and National Geographic Magazine.

Ron Haviv is an award-winning photojournalist who has produced some of the most important images of humanitarian crises that have made headlines from around the world since the end of the Cold War. He is a co-founder of VII, a collectively-owned photo agency founded in 2001 specializing in conflict photography. His work is published by top magazines worldwide, including: Fortune, New York Times Magazine, Time, Vanity Fair, Paris Match and Stern.

James Nachtwey's photography has been exhibited around the world in major exhibitions and has been published extensively throughout his career. He has worked on major photographic essays in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil, Iraq, and the United States. In 2001, he became one of the founding members of the photo agency, VII

PRODUCERS

Congo/Women is produced by Art Works Projects and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College Chicago.

Art Works Projects (AWP) is a Chicago-based arts organization that uses art and design in service of human rights issues. Using a range of visual arts mediums, AWP provides opportunities for public, media, and political attention to these issues. With the success of the organization's first initiative, DARFUR/DARFUR, the desire grew to create other exhibitions devoted to the public good. The need for an umbrella organization to manage and develop these projects became obvious and Art Works Projects was launched. Projects in development include human trafficking/force labor and international potable water inequities. www.artworksprojects.org

Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College Chicago, (Institute) is recognized as a national and international creator of original work, collaborator, and convener on the discourse of gender, culture, creativity and community. Through its multi-faceted work and initiatives, the Institute addresses ideas of access, representation, human rights, equity, and participation, as well as race and class, using the arts and media as central means of research, public education and advocacy. The Institute locates human rights at the center of its mission and develops innovative cross-disciplinary public and scholarly programs that engage a broad audience. At the core of the Institute's work is the belief that art has the ability to make good on the democratic process and is a strong tool for social change. www.colum.edu/institutewomengender

Jane M. Saks, Co-Director and Creative Advisor of Congo/Women, is the Executive Director of the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, at Columbia College Chicago. As a feminist activist, arts administrator, writer and educator, Saks has focused on arts and culture, women, gender, race, LGBTQ issues, and political, human rights and social justice movements. The Institute is recognized as a national and international convener on the discourse of gender, culture, creativity and community.

Leslie Thomas, Co-Director and Curator of Congo/Women, is a curator, designer, architect and the founding Director of Art Works Projects (AWP). AWP is committed to putting art to work for human rights and environmental causes. Current projects include the internationally touring projections and print installation of DARFUR/DARFUR and a forthcoming exhibition on human trafficking and forced labor.

Congo/Women is sponsored by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and Humanity United.

For more information about the internationally traveling exhibition and educational campaign, visit www.congowomen.orgwww.colum.edu/institutewomengenderwww.artworksprojects.org

Exhibition photographers, guest speakers, and co-directors are available for interviews. Publicity photos available for publication.