**100% of the profits from this print will go directly to humanitarian programs in Darfur/Sudan**
To date, this is probably my best drawing...though I think some of its power/quality/details were lost a bit when transfered to the comp. Below you can find some more details and background info about this piece...
This drawing depicts an everyday scene from the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan( [link] ). Over 400,000 people have died from either starvation or murder and 2.5 million people have been displaced by this tragedy of epic propotions, so I felt compelled to try and raise awareness and share my own views of the situation through my art. And yes, as stated above, 100% of the money collected from this print sale will go toward humanitarian programs in the region. Below you can find a few snippets from recent articles which describe the crisis itself in a bit more detail...
(from "Humanity as a victim to bureaucracy"(guycalaf.com) by Carsten Stormer)
Chad, outside the Oure Cassoni refugee camp, Dec-Jan 2004-5:
The young Zhagawa woman is crouching in front of a tiny woodfire. Next to her squat three young children in ragged t-shirts and shorts nestling up against their mother. As the flames fade slowly away the four people gather closer to the warming embers...
The flames slowly but surely fade away. In a few minutes the sound of crying and screaming children will be heard throughout the night - when the icecold nightwind will drain the last resources of warmth out of the emaciated bodies. The smallest and most vulnarable will feel it first - a tremble that starts in the tips of their toes and then captures their entire body until it shakes uncontrollably. A starving body suffers earlier from cold and more intensely. The sound of crying voices will last until sunrise - or until their throat becomes too sore to utter another sound. Like lost lambs seperated from their mothers. "Tomorrow", says the young woman. "Tomorrow someone will come to register us." She is sure - like the day before.
...Often she had heard stories about the Sudanese army and the Janjaweeds - armed arab tribes backed by the Sudanese government -bombing and burning down villages in her vicinity, that they rape women and girls and kill the males...
...She heard about mothers who were raped several times in front of their children. She heard about young boys who were killed in cold blood while they were herding the sheeps and goats. And she heard about old men and women - too old and too weak to flee - who were clubbed to death with rifle butts...
...Against all reason she and the people of the village of Orshey had hoped that their homes would be spared. It was in vain....
It took ten days to escape from Darfur. After two days she and her children had nothing left to eat - even though they only ate once a day...
Six days ago she reached the UN supervised refugee camp of Oure Cassoni in Chad, only a few kilometres away from the border. At that time, her youngest daughter, the two year old Fatma was already hanging fragile in a rag, which Hashania had wrapped around her back, wheezing, her breath came in haste like a bird in mortal fear. Chronic malnutrition, the doctors said. Emergency case. Immediate treatment with proteins and vitamins. Hashania and her other two children did not get any assistance - they are not registered and therefore are not official refugees. Everything has to be according to the UN rules and standards - starving and freezing people are no exception. First it has to be proven that a refugee is actually a refugee because it could be possible that a poor Chadian is pretending to be a refugee and that would go against the UN mandate which states that only refugess from Darfur are allowed to be helped. Daily beaurocratic madness in one of the poorest regions on this planet.
In UN language these people are called "new arrivals". But many are not that new anymore because they have been waiting for weeks or months to get registered...
...In Oure Cassoni those in charge only talk about refugees - not about human beings. The word degrades people to objects and statistics - robs them of their personality, of their dignity and their self-respect. Objects don't starve and freeze, humans do. Humanity as a victim to bureaucracy. New arrivals have a worse status - they are second class refugees.
The UN Security Council has “decided” to replace an inadequate posse of African peace monitors with a UN force, but only if Sudan agreed, which of course it does not. China’s and Russia’s lack of enthusiasm for sanctions should be seen as tacit support for the slaughter. That is certainly how Khartoum interprets their silence. So the killing goes on, spreading now to refugee camps in Darfur and across the border to Chad. UN emissaries have been thrown out and the aid operation is at the edge of total breakdown.
(from bloomberg.com by Kevin Hassett)
As of fiscal year 2006, Congress had appropriated $437 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for the global war on terror overall. The latest numbers added $70 billion to that total, bringing the amount spent on all three operations to $507 billion.
...Given those numbers, the research service estimated that Operation Iraqi Freedom cost $6.4 billion a month, a number that has climbed recently to $8 billion a month.
Total FY 2005 USG Humanitarian Assistance for the Darfur Emergency (to date): $509,532,362
Obviouslly the Sudanese government, and its supporters are the real ass holes here...I mean this is genocide, evil and ignorance beyond imagination! However, this is obvious...who I'm really critical of, are the governments and organizations in the world that REALLY have the resources to stop this madness, namely the US government. I mean, yea, the prints from this go towards the crisis but its not like anything I could raise could EVER even make a dent in the situation. In all reality, only the power governments of the world could truly stop this.
I'll focus on the US government. Lets look at the numbers...they contributed about 500 million to the crisis last year. That doesnt sound bad, but its obviouslly not even close to enough aid that is required to atleast keep people from starving to death. 400,000+ lives! can you really put a price tag on that?! And when that number continues to grow, shouldnt the always riteous US try to step in? I suppose they are too busy fighting their wars...and they seem awfully quick to throw money into that cause no? (507 Billion to date / 8 Billion per month!) Just imagine that, in one month the US spends about 15X more money for wars as apposed to this crisis! I cant imagine how many lives would be saved just by putting the guns down for a single month. 8 Billion could quickly turn the tide on this genocide, yet they seem so quick to spend it elsewhere. I guess the wars, government pay checks, and more than a few pointless government programs are more important than saving actual lives to these people. You would think that the always riteous US government would hold the largest human disaster of our times in a higher priority...I guess not. Just one of the many reasons the government continues to convince me how evil it can really be...its just sad that the most vulnarable of humanity are the first to suffer, and it destroys me to think how often you might see something like this taking place around the world.
Media: charcoal, white charcoal, graphite
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