The humanitarian situation in Yemen has long reached catastrophic levels, and vital peacebuilding work amongst civil society by local organisations is more urgent than ever before.
News coverage of the crisis primarily focuses on the macro-level dynamics of war – proxy war dynamics, weapon sales, aerial bombardments, and the humanitarian crisis. The hard-hitting images and statistics that reach us on the conflict in Yemen don’t begin to express the complexity of the human face of war, and fail to adequately portray the impact of war on individuals, especially children.
Search for Common Ground, Peace Direct and Mercy Corps have established the Pathways to Peace art exhibit to shed light on a side of the war in Yemen that is often overlooked: the life of civilians trapped in the middle. It features a combination of photos and paintings from Yemeni men, women, and children sharing their experiences with violence and their vision for the future of their country. The paintings and photographs represent the fear, the hope, and the opportunities for regrowth in Yemen.
Through this collection of paintings and photographs, Yemeni men, women, and children share their experiences in this devastating conflict and their vision for the future of their country.
The exhibit went on display in both chambers of Congress in 2019. Then, it appeared at the Dayton International Peace Museum in Ohio from Dec. 6, 2019, through Feb. 2, 2020.
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The works shown include paintings and drawings done by children from schools in Sana’a, local Yemeni photographers seeking to show the opportunities for peace amid the broader conflict, and award-winning photographer Ezra Millstein. Some of the artworks acknowledge their makers’ fears, while other paintings and photographs highlighting the hopes of ordinary men, women, and children who are choosing to work together to regrow their lives amid the chaos.