TONIGHT: Elizabeth Herman, A Woman’s War, at United Photo Industries in Dumbo:
“A Woman’s War” explores the post-conflict experiences and struggles of women actively involved in recent conflicts around the world who have, since ceasefire, not only had to struggle for equal rights and recognition, but also for their dignity, honor, and idea of womanhood.
A woman’s war is distinct. She not only has to be a fighter, but also is expected to maintain and eventually return to her traditional role as a mother, wife, and anchor of the family at the end of the conflict. Women have played key roles in recent conflicts, serving as combatants, nurses, peace builders, demonstrators, social workers, and more. They also suffered its consequences: trauma, physical debilitation, displacement, widowhood, and mass rape. At the war’s end, they were faced with a dual burden of confronting the conflict’s scars, while also attempting to reconstruct their own and their families’ lives.
Perhaps most egregiously, their contributions remain absent from history books, with official narratives instead largely written by and focused on the stories of men. Yet, even though official narratives fail to recognize their histories, these women cope with them daily, learning ways to bring certain elements of the conflict forward with them, and leave others behind. In learning how conflict has shaped them as mothers, activists, leaders, and more, “A Woman’s War” examines how war affects not only those who experienced it firsthand, but also those they nurture and lead –the next generation – and how, in that way, their struggles live on
See more of the work on Herman’s website here.