The much anticipated HERE photo exhibition organised by The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) in partnership with Stand To End Rape Initiative (STER) was officially launched yesterday, Sunday, April 30, 2017, at the Silverbird Galleria, Lagos.
The photo exhibition is aimed at using pictures to tell stories of people who have suffered from sexual abuse.
While describing the exhibition, Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, Executive Director, Stand To End Rape Initiative, mentioned that when she was abused seven years ago, there was no organisation to stand with her through the entire process. This served as a motivation to start up an organisation aimed at telling stories of those who have been sexually abused and to support them through the entire recovery process.
“The Here campaign is for those who have been sexually abused but are not able to tell their stories physically, through this exhibition we are helping them tell their stories using pictures” Osowobi said.
Jumoke Sanwo, Creative Director, Revolving Art Incubator, said she hopes the exhibition generates the right conversation that will influence positive actions from law makers, law enforcers, and the community, that’s what they are trying to communicate.
While addressing guests at the exhibition, Olumide Makanjuola, Executive Director of The Initiative for Equal Rights mentioned that it is an avenue to talk about the sexual abuse straight people and members of the LGBT community go through daily in the society.
“Tonight has been amazing, because it has been an avenue where we can talk about everything without holding back, but realizing that there is a problem. It is amazing that we can tell the stories of people who have suffered from sexual abuse, abuse from the public and the police because of their sexual orientation,” Makanjuola said.
“I’m also inviting everyone to be here during the closing on May 14, let’s have conversations about sexual abuse and rape, because you never know, it could happen to anyone,” he added.
The exhibition also featured a panel discussion which featured media personality, Arit Okpo; writer, Titilope Sonuga; and Head Psychotherapist of STER, Amanda Iheme.
The exhibition is now officially open to the public. It will stay open till Sunday May 14, 2017.
The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) is a Nigeria-based registered non-for-profit organisation working to protect and promote the human rights of sexual minorities nationally and regionally. We’re committed to bringing about a society that is free from discrimination and harm on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. We work towards this goal through education, empowerment and engagement with the many publics in Nigeria. We were founded in 2005 as a response to the discrimination and marginalisation of sexual minorities in both HIV prevention programming and mainstream human rights work. We currently have 11 full time members of staff and over 50 volunteers peer educators.