“Life after Conflict”, a new photo exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York, explores how our deepest loves and connections shape us, in the face of harm and loss, and drive us to continue, even after conflict.
After her husband’s family found out that she was brutalized and raped during the conflict in the Central African Republic, they insisted it would be better for her children to not live with their mother.
Elodie was 17 years old when the city came under attack by armed groups. She and a few of her other girlfriends were ambushed by four armed men and raped.
The men threw chemicals on Elodie's eyes and she felt excruciating pain and burning. Her vision deteriorated and over time she turned blind.
"It's important to have alternatives; one must learn how to survive," says Charles.
Having lost everything during the conflict in Central African Republic, Charles decided to go back to school. After graduating from secondary school, he enrolled in the Academy of Arts and studies communications.
Elise's neighbourhood was under siege. Two men in military fatigues brutalized and raped her.
She managed to get to safety. At the hospital she only addressed her head trauma and other bodily injuries, but did not report the rape crime out of shame. "I was with a man then; I did not want to let him know that other men had taken my body."
Life After Conflict features the work of award-winning photographers Rena Effendi, Pete Muller and Finbarr O’Reilly.
It is produced by the International Criminal Court in collaboration with the Trust Fund for Victims and the Fondation Carmignac.
“Life after Conflict: Stories as told to ICC Outreach by survivors of the world's worst crimes” is on show at the United Nations in New York until 29 July