In August 2014 ISIS took control of Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan and abducted and enslaved over 6,000 Yezidi women and children. Iraqi officials estimate that 3,410 Yezidis still remain in captivity or are unaccounted for.
Hannah travelled to Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan with clinical psychologist Dr. Sarah Whittaker-Howe for an art project with Yezidi women who escaped ISIS captivity. The project was based at the Jinda Centre – Jinda is Kurdish for New Life - a rehabilitation facility in Dohuk, Iraqi Kurdistan. The hope was to teach the Yezidi women to paint their self-portraits as a way to share their stories with the rest of the world and empower their voices to be heard. Hannah taught the women how to paint while Sarah recorded their testimonies. Testimony is an important part of the recovery process post-torture or sexual abuse.
Teaching these women to paint their self-portraits is
a way for those who have never been to school or
learned to read and write to share their stories with the rest of the world.