Um Rakuba refugee camp – Gedaref – Sudan. 7 June 2021.
A Tigrinya girl (21) shows the signs of sexual violence. Two days after the event, she decided to undergo a medical examination and seek psychological support offered to women inside the camp. This girl ran away during the bombing in Tigray, and has been a victim of sexual violence perpetrated by compatriots within the camp where she lives. Many women have experienced violence in the countries at war from which they flee, but they are highly exposed to the risk of becoming victims of abuse during their journey too, as well in the areas hosting refugee camps (“Sequestri lampo e abusi su bambini in Sudan”, Agenzia Habeshia, 2021).
The violence against women during conflict cannot be separated from violence against women during ‘peacetime’, and forms of violence, such as public rape, designed to humiliate communities, only function in a context where deeply held patriarchal views permeate society (("Post-War Backlash Violence against Women: What Can Masculinity Explain?", Pankhurst, 2008).

  • Image 1 of 27

2023 ZEKE Award: First Place for Documentary Photography

Women's Body as Battlefield

cinzia canneri | Ethiopia

The targeting of women’s bodies in times of war, but also of peace, has come to light as a systematic strategy which has been used by different actors in many different contexts worldwide.

This project has analyzed the condition of Eritrean and Tigrinya women who moved across the borders of three countries geopolitically linked to one-another: Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan.

From 2017 to 2019 the work has documented Eritrean women fleeing from one of the most repressive regimes in the world and seeking refuge in Ethiopia.

From 4 November 2020, following the invasion of Tigray (Ethiopia) by the Ethiopian federal army supported by the Eritrean military forces and Amhara militia, the project’s focus has broadened to include also the Tigrinya women, who joined Eritrean women in their escape from Ethiopia to Sudan.

In Tigray the Eritrean army used sexual violence as a weapon of war against both Eritrean and Tigrinya women: to punish those fleeing their country in the former case, and as an act of extermination in the latter.

The body of women became a battlefield on which there were no sides.

Cinzia Canneri has a degree in psychology and in photography at the Marangoni Foundation of Florence; she later made a masterclass in photojournalism in Rome. Her interest is focused on social reportage that deals with trying to find the incidence of uneasiness or resilience behaviour in the intimacy life of people or community.
Her pictures have appeared in some magazines as Espresso, Millennium, Mind, Lens New York Times, Days Japan, 6mois, L'Obs, XLSemanal and Aftenposten. Among her awards is the Prize for Canon Young Photographers, a scholarship for the Marangoni Foundation, POY (2016) Award of excellence in category Science and Natural History Picture Story, Umbria World Fest (2017) First award, Poy (2022) First place in category Issue Reporting Story.



Content loading...

Make Comment/View Comments