María José Guzmán Moras (age 12) is a young Guatemalan attending middle school in Salt Lake City, United States. She contributed this drawing to complement her uncle Luis’s story. Both her mother (Luis’s sister) and father had their lives taken away by the prevalent organized crime in her country when she was just 6 years old, leaving her and her siblings orphaned. In this piece she reflects on the gruesome reality and the pain of her childhood experiences while remaining optimistic of a better future for her and her family.
Marta Coll – “Monasterio Solar”
Celia Africa Keller
Marta Coll – “Tierra de Mujeres”
Óscar Bermúdez Pena (Madrid, Spain) – This artwork transmits the equality and the power of geometry. Simple shapes come together to form a connecting system, just like the Stari Most bridge. The identical hands allude to equality between races and beliefs.
Tatiana Paz Carriazo (Colombia)
Justine Chen – The girl in the picture is locked behind the restrictions of her society. The spikes pointing at her, represent the dangers of Trying to leave this situation behind. However, because of the author’s efforts to convince these Muslim families to educate their kids, the spikes have been slightly dented to represent progress. The swirl like pattern represents clouds that fog the outside world’s understanding of this problem. Around them there is stitching that represents how this situation was fabricated, but like stitches, this problem can be taken apart. The random, rigid shapes are pieces of the solution that need to be put together. The diamonds in between are cracked like this norm the author is breaking to create a better world for future Muslim girls. The circular shapes are targets on them because of the criticism they may suffer. Finally, coming out of the piece, there are rays of sun, suggesting that if the author keeps doing what she is doing, better days are here to come.
Victoria Burillo – This is the Adinkra symbol of unity. The siamese crocodiles share the same stomach. This popular symbol of traditional Ghanaian culture is a reminder that infighting and tribalism is harmful to all who engage in it. It is a call to oneness, irrespective of cultural differences.
Kyaw Eh (19) – This painting portrays the youth’s journey to safety, in Thailand, after his village was gunned and burned down by the Burma Army. It symbolizes an experience shared by all refugees; they have all been forced to flee – to save their lives.
Anonymous (16) – The girl dreamed of teaching people why it was so important to treat our plant like a precious seedling.
Jimmy (26) – Despite their courage and sacrifices, today’s political prisoners remain faceless to all but family and friends who have dared to stand by them. Jimmy painted this picture to honor his unsung heroes. Without them, he said, there would be no democracy movement in Burma today. And without justice, he added, peace in Burma will remain an elusive dream.
L.R.M. (21) – The man who painted this visual story learned about human rights, rights long-denied his people, the Kachin of northern Burma. He returned to Burma eager to introduce ethnic minority youth to their rights and the potential power of the internet to improve their lives.
Saw Yar Zar (16) – Saw Yar Zar wondered why so many members of Burma’s government and national army believed that upholding their values could only be achieved by oppressing ethnic minorities. He dreamed of a world where impoverished ethnic minority villagers were considered as worthy of human rights as wealthy city dwellers, a world where their voices rang just as loud and clear.
Kyaw Dah Sie (23) – Kyaw Dah Sie dreamed of establishing Burma’s first multiethnic soccer league. He believed that if other youth from Burma’s diverse ethnic communities also had the opportunity to study, play and live together, they too would come to discover that beneath their outward ethnic, religious, political and socio-economic differences, deep down, they shared the same deeply-held values: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Diana Sabogal H. – “Energias para la Paz”