The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide

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Waging Peace donates drawings by Darfuri Child Refugees

The Wiener Library is delighted to announce that Waging Peace have donated a collection of 500 drawings by refugee Darfuri and Chadian children to our archive. 

In the summer of 2007, researcher Anna Schmitt travelled to Eastern Chad on a fact-finding mission.  Whilst collecting testimonies from adults, women told Anna how their children had witnessed atrocities when their villages were being attacked. This prompted Anna to talk to the children. She gave the children aged 6 to 18 paper and pencils and asked them what their dreams were for the future and what their strongest memory was. The five hundred drawings amount to a form of evidence from silent witnesses of terrible crimes. The killings, bombing and looting shown in the drawings directly contradict the Government of Sudan's version of events over the last four years of bloodshed.

Ben Barkow, Library director, says ‘this collection of 500 children’s drawings illustrating and documenting crimes against humanity perpetrated in Darfur is both painfully moving and an important historical record. These testimonies, reflecting injured childhood innocence, are extraordinarily powerful and affecting: naively drawn images revealing the harshest of adult criminality. We are extremely grateful to Waging Peace for bringing this extraordinary collection to the Wiener Library.’

Olivia Warham, director of Waging Peace says ‘we are delighted to collaborate with the Wiener Library to find a permanent home for our collection of 500 drawings by Darfuri children living in refugee camps in Chad.  These drawings are a vital witness statement to the genocide in Darfur, and are particularly important given the restrictions on journalists to cover this tragic event of the twenty first century.  The drawings show the nature of the atrocities, the racial element and the involvement of the Sudanese government in the conflict.  For this reason, they have been accepted as contextual evidence by the International Criminal Court in the cases against President Al Bashir of Sudan and his henchmen.  As a renowned centre for learning on the Holocaust and genocide, the Wiener Library is best placed to archive these drawings and ensure they remain a valuable resource for the future.  Waging Peace would like to express our thanks to the Wiener Library for this opportunity.’

Our archivist is currently accessioning the collection which will be available to researchers in the next few months. 

Click here to view our catalogue record for this collection of drawings. 

Added: Monday 10th February, 2014