Beauty in the Middle: Women of Congo Speak Out

Online Exhibition launched 10 December 2014

The Nobel Women’s Initiative, in collaboration the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence launched Beauty in the Middle: Women of Congo Speak Out, an online photography and video exhibition, on International Human Rights Day in 2014.

The exhibition tells the inspiring stories of both Congolese women activists and survivors of sexual violence, mobilizing against incredible odds to end rape and find a way to justice and peace. View the powerful images of award-winning National Geographic photographer Pete Muller and watch film interviews of the activists by Artefact Creative.

Visit the exhibition here:

In February of 2014, the Nobel Women’s Initiative, as a partner in the international campaign, travelled to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to document the work of grassroots women activists. During the Campaign delegation, Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee was asked by a journalist what she witnessed in eastern Congo. Leymah said that she saw a lot of violence and conflict, and sexual violence. But within this context of violence, embedded in every story was another story: women came to support the survivors.  Women activists take survivors to the hospital, help them push their case in the courts, or even just rub their back and hold their baby. Within the context of this conflict and violence, these women are the Beauty in the Middle.

The exhibition made its real world debut in June 2014 at ExCel London in the UK, as part of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict Fringe Program.

It made its Canadian debut at the SAW Gallery in Ottawa in January 2015 where money was raised for The Fund for Congolese Women.


The Match International Women’s Fund (now The Equality Fund)
School of the Photographic Arts Ottawa
The International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict
Galerie Saw Gallery