From the renowned authority on domestic violence, a startlingly original inquiry into the aftermath of wars and their impact on the least visible victims: women
In 2007, the International Rescue Committee, which brings relief to countries in the wake of war, wanted to understand what really happened to women in war zones. Answers came through the point and click of a digital camera. On behalf of the IRC, Ann Jones spent two years traveling through Africa, East Asia, and the Middle East, giving cameras to women who had no other means of telling the world what war had done to their lives.
The photography project—which moved from Liberia to Syria and points in between—quickly broadened to encompass the full consequences of modern warfare for the most vulnerable. Even after the definitive moments of military victory, women and children remain blighted by injury and displacement and are the most affected by the destruction of communities and social institutions. And along with peace often comes worsening violence against women, both domestic and sexual.
Dramatic and compelling, animated by the voices of brave and resourceful women, War Is Not Over When It's Over shines a powerful light on a phenomenon that has long been cast in shadow.
While hoping to document postwar violence against women in war-torn regions like Afghanistan, parts of Africa, and the Middle East, the International Relief Committee project unexpectedly provoked a loaded question about the injustice of their lives: "Why can't a man bathe a child?" With this question, and armed with IRC cameras, a group of African women started the dialogue in the hope of ending their abuse by and harsh subservience to men. A shy young girl in Sierra Leone elicits cheers from her schoolmates when she tells elders that teachers "should stop impregnating schoolgirls." Jones (Kabul in Winter) recounts her observations of the Global Crescendo Project in this concise travelogue praising women's fortitude in the direst of circumstances while decrying the continuing "post-conflict zone" of violence against women, including in the American-bombed ruins of Iraq, which cracks her sense of detachment. Underfunded and doubted in First and Third World countries, the project reveals the link between misplaced rage by depressed former soldiers and the women who suffer culturally sanctioned violence, while the U.N.'s antirape resolutions are ignored. In spite of the graphically grim material, Jones provides glimpses of hard-won triumphs, including separate bathing areas in Burmese refugee camps and the promise of peace for women by a thoughtful local chief. 33 b&w photos.