Art helps Kosovo victims of wartime sexual violence

The Kosovo Museum in Pristina opened an exhibition of paintings made by rape victims of the Kosovo war in an attempt to address prejudice against victims of sexual violence.

Lidija Pisker
Lidija Pisker NewsMavens, Balkans
Art helps Kosovo victims of wartime sexual violence - NewsMavens
Colors of Our Souls exhibition in Pristina. Photo courtesy of UN Women.

Why this story matters:

The exhibition features artworks created by anonymous rape victims who wanted to show "their life as they would love it to be."

Many victims of wartime sexual violence struggle to express the pain they are going through. They feel ashamed of what they have been through and fear social stigma. 

"This exhibition is one way of expressing what they hope for in life," UN representative Ulrike Richardson told media. 

There are still no accurate estimates of the number of women who were raped or suffered other forms of sexual violence during the war in Kosovo.

Details from the story:

  • The exhibition, titled 'Colors of Our Souls,' is organized by UN Women and financed by the European Union. It was open on 5 November 2018 in the Kosovo Museum in Pristina. 
  • The paintings can be purchased and collected money goes to victims of sexual violence.
  • The Kosovo assembly included rape victims in legislation on the rights of war victims and veterans in 2014, Pristina Insight reported. The changes to the law allow rape victims, who are verified by the authorities, to become eligible for benefits.
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