An exhibition highlighting the plight of women of Yazidi women who have fled the violence of Daesh is currently open at the University of Milano-Bicocca.
“Photographs of Life in Khanke Camp”, which exhibits the work of six Yazidi women – Khawla Shamo, Klood Khedada, Bushra Qasim, Samia Jendo, Manal Barakat, Zina Hassan – who lived in the refugee camp along with approximately 17 400 others. The exhibition was introduced by EUI Alumna Marina Calloni, who is director of the EDV Italy Project on domestic violence and Professor of social and political philosophy and the University of Milano-Bicocca.
The EDV Italy project, a departmental research center based at the University of Milano-Bicocca, develops projects, seminars, training, courses and international networking for the struggle against any form of gender based violence in times of war and peace. The project’s interest in the Yazidi cause was launched by a conference during Milan’s Human Rights Festival in 2016. The conference was organized by Nadia Murad, a 23 year old Yazidi woman who survived kidnap, sexual slavery and was sold to militia before being granted refugee status in Germany. She then pursued an awareness campaign to mobilise international support for the Yazidi community, and was recently appointed at the United Nations in New York “Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking” and given the European Parliament’s “Sakharov Prize for Peace” for her remarkable work.
As a result of the conference, the University of Milano-Bicocca agreed to host 10 Yazidi students who were living in refugees camps in Iraq, and arrived at the university on 15th September 2016 to continue their studies. After the conference, EUI Alumna Professor Calloni was also able to arrange a meeting with the deputy President of the Italian Senate Valeria Fedeli. As a consequence, a “Motion for the Recognition of the Genocide of the Yazidi people” was put before and approved by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Italian Government is now committed to supporting the cause of the Yazidi people because of the recognition of the genocide perpetrated against them by the DAESH/ISIS fighters.
The exhibition of photographs by the six Yazidi women is displayed next to the Magna Hall of the University of Milano-Bicocca, on the ground floor of the U6 University Building, Piazza dell’Ateneo nuovo, until May 25th.
For more information about the exhibition:
For further information about EDV Italy:
The recording of Nadia Murad’s conference is available at: http://www.edvitaly-project.unimib.it/it/nadia-murad-il-video-della-conferenza/
(feature image by Manal Barakat)