September 2018


Hannah spent a week in Northern Nigeria with a group of courageous women, survivors of Boko Haram and Fulani violence. The art project was facilitated by Open Doors.

For their self-portrait paintings, the women first painted and then sewed vibrant African fabric onto the canvas for the finishing touch.

The simple act of painting their self-portraits was a way to affirm their identity and value, so important considering the isolation and shame these women have experienced, due to the stigma of sexual violence.

Some reflections the women shared on their final day together:

“We came here with heavy hearts and we are leaving filled with joy,” Esther

“I am so happy. I have never held a pen in my life before, and it was the first time I have been able to write my name and even to draw my face.” Charity

“Before, I could not hold a pen or do anything. Now, through this art project, I have learnt how to draw. I drew myself and when I looked at it this morning, I saw how beautiful I am.” Ladi

Here you can read an article by Open Doors about the project.