Victim of War 2004
by Ajok Mayol

2007 • 019

Acrylic on Canvas.
19.9 x 37.7 inches / 51 x 96 cm

Lent by the Sudanese Education Fund

Victim of War 2004 - Ajok Mayol

This image is familiar to those who lived in refugee camps as a daily scene of brutal deprivation; it is also familiar to many of us, who are instead reminded of the famous Kevin Carter photo of another dying refugee child.

This depiction reminds us of that photo, but its brutality is tempered by the mother figure, her gentle touch, and the use of the color green, which Atem Aleu says is the Sudanese color for healing and hope. The green is used both across the entire horizon of living trees and in the skirt of the mother figure. The coarse landscape of the painting -- with layers of textured paint -- may evoke the importance of the land to the Sudanese,

The class chose this piece to begin the exhibit because we felt that it best represented the tension between despair and hope captured in the collection of paintings and negotiated everyday by the South Sudanese diaspora.

Click here to listen to audio commentary.

This website has been developed by the Museums and Public Memory (Anth 159a) class taught by Professor Mark Auslander at Brandeis University. Images have been reproduced with the permission of the African Refugee Artists Club.