Many, many thanks for your support and encouragement, for helping us reach our fundraising goal, and for sharing in the belief that the stories of the Salvadoran women should be heard. The book is now at the printers; we expect to have copies in hand by early October. From there, Lyn will meet up with Tedde in El Savaldor for the exhibit at the National Museum of Anthropology in San Salvador (Nov 9 - Jan 6, 2013) and to make the documentary film, slated for release in early 2013. If you are interested in purchasing a Mujeres de la Guerra book, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mujeres de la Guerra documents the lives, stories and work of twenty-eight women leaders in El Salvador. Through a documentary film, photography exhibits in both the US and El Salvador, and a photo essay book, we hope to provide these women with the opportunity to tell their inspiring stories and share their hope, wisdom and dedication with the world.
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** THE WOMEN **
The Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992) claimed the lives of over 75,000 innocent civilians. An additional 8,000 Salvadorans disappeared. Many thousands of families were forced to abandon their homes and flee from horrific violence, the majority of which was carried out by US-backed military and death squads.
Before the war, these very young women saw the need to organize with their communities in defense of their rights. As the repression and violence worsened, some women helped their communities and families to flee, to refugee camps or the remote mountains. Others joined the insurgent guerilla forces, as cooks, as medics, in radio communications, in press and propaganda, and taking up arms to fight for their rights.
The women tell stories about losing their homes, their family members, the scorched earth campaigns – losing crops, livestock, food and livelihood – the massacres, the repression. Fleeing with their children into the mountains, suffering from hunger, fear and tropical storms.
Their stories are painful, hard to hear.
At the same time, the war was a school for many of them, a place where they learned to read, write, and find their voice. Today, these women organize their communities to create opportunities for everyone, to work for access to basic rights, to empower women and teach young people. Their courage, resilience, and perseverance, their hope in a better tomorrow, their ability to “seguir adelante,” continue forward in even the darkest of times, are deeply inspiring.
Check out the updates section to read more about these inspiring women and their testimonies.
The photographic work was shown at Seattle University and will be shown at the Confluence Gallery in Twisp, WA in late summer.
** THE FUNDS **
We need to raise $20,000 to complete the project. In addition to our $12,000 indiegogo goal, we will apply for grants and hold other fundraising events. Your contribution will support the creation of:
*DOCUMENTARY FILM: $8,000
Studio time and equipment rental in El Salvador, travel and transportation for additional interviews and support footage, editing and post-production, music, translation, stipends for assistants and usage of archival footage. We will use the film in educational settings and submit to film festivals and other venues.
*MUJERES DE LA GUERRA BOOK: $6,000
Creation and printing of 100 copies, including images and text, published in English and Spanish.
*PHOTO EXHIBIT: Museo Nacional de Antropología (MUNA) in San Salvador: $3,500
Making 20 x 24” prints, framing and hanging, international travel, travel for the 28 women to attend, hosting an inaugural reception and lecture.
*TRAVELING PHOTO EXHIBIT: Museum of Word and Image (MUPI): $2,500
Designing and printing durable prints, transportation to take the exhibit around El Salvador, and honorariums for MUPI.
It is important that the work be shown widely in El Salvador and that the women, their families and their communities have the opportunity to see and respond to the work. The women will all be invited to the MUNA inauguration and the MUPI exhibit in their area.
** HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE **
Help share these women’s stories by contributing. Check out great perks on the right!
Help us spread the word and reach a wider audience. Use indigegogo’s sharing tools to post on facebook and twitter and email this campaign to friends and families.
** OUR STORY **
Read more about Lyn McCracken and Tedde Simon by visiting their profiles on indiegogo; links below.
Lyn first came to El Salvador in 2009 as an elections observer and teacher with the Northwest School. She was impacted and inspired by the stories of the organized people of the community Huisisilapa, El Paisnal. Many people, especially women, talked about their stories from before, during and after the war, and Lyn was hooked.
Lyn and Tedde met in El Salvador the following year. Finding much inspiration in the women of rural El Salvador, the collaboration began. Lyn would return to El Salvador three times over the next two years to photograph and interview the women.
Over the course of two years, through many beans and tortillas, cups of too-sweet coffee in women’s homes and dusty, bumpy truck rides into communities, Lyn and Tedde had the opportunity to fall in love with these twenty-eight organized women. After spending time in their homes and communities and with their families, Lyn and Tedde are more motivated than ever to tell their stories.
Travel and other costs associated with initial interviews and photography were covered by a professional development grant from Northwest School in Seattle, WA.