Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Miss Landmine Angola 2008

Hey folks ~ Once again, many thanks to all who have posted kind and thoughtful comments about Granddad. The comments are spirit-boosting, I assure you!!

I don't really have much to say, other than that this week feels a bit odd, and out of sync, but I did want to share this story that came my way via CNN this morning:

The story describes the Miss Landmine Angola 2008 competition, featuring contestants who are all missing limbs as a result of having stepped on landmines. While all the contestants receive government assistance for education or business ventures, the winner receives a prosthetic limb.

The pictures are an expression of profound dignity and respect, and are very, very beautiful.

The more I have thought about the competition and about these women, the more challenging I have found it to try and wrap my mind around all the pieces that are brought together by the event: the gruesome atrocity of landmine violence; the images of beautiful women in stereotypical "pageant" poses; social justice; feminism; etc. In short, I feel a wide variety of things when I look at the pictures.

I feel angry and sad and thrilled and excited and worried by these images.

Angry at the violence that lies behind them.
Sad at the struggles these women have endured and will continue to endure.
Thrilled that these women have this opportunity to express themselves and their stories.
Excited by the gifts that are given to the competitors and to the winner.

Worried that these woman do not represent the last generation of landmine victims in Angola.


Chunklets said...

Interesting! And strange to think that it's been ten years since the Ottawa Treaty was signed; I can remember when it was big news...

Chorus said...

Thanks for the link!! Scary to think that when the treaty was signed, there were more landmines in Angola than people...

Stealthy Dachshund said...

General Electric manufactures parts for landmines.

Crimson Rambler said...

one of your cousins was very instrumental in Bruce Cockburn's campaign for the Ottawa Treaty. I'm just sayin'

Chorus said...

WH made a good point about this last night. He remarked that while the event was clearly important, why was it that women in Angola needed to win a beauty pageant in order to get a prosthetic limb?

Good question.