A powerful new multi-media exhibition ‘In Kony’s Shadow’
, commissioned by Christian Aid, opens at the gallery@oxo, Southbank on 5th March. The show, for which Metro produced a range of C type prints
, features work by photographer Will Storr
and filmmaker Tom Pietrasik
The exhibition tells the horrific and tragic stories of survivors of The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), individuals whose lives were transformed forever, including the story of a former child soldier Norman Okello and his family. Norman who was abducted from his home at the age of just 12, struggled to hold on to his humanity during the two years he served with the rebels as his family battled equally to adjust when he returned home a fully trained killer. Okello says: ‘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.’
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was a small but fanatical rebel group led by Joseph Kony between 1987 and 2006 in war-ravaged Uganda. Long after its retreat, whole communities still live in terror at the very whisper of it's name. At the height of it’s power, 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.
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.