Banu (ongoing project)

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“Sexual violence is traumatic. It turns a woman’s life upside down. I became aware of that three years ago, when I took the train to Bandung, Indonesia, to accompany Banu to meet her first ever psychologist. Months after she was raped by a male friend.”

“On that day, she was diagnosed with PTSD. Her life started to change forever. The girl who was once famous for being a brave and reliable human rights activist, gradually lost faith on herself and her surrounding. She then decided to step down from the podium, and wanted to keep her life under the radar.”

“What had happened to Banu also affected a lot of women in Indonesia. The National Commission on Violence Against Women published a statement in 2018 that each year thousands of Indonesian women were subjected to sexual violence. With more than 6,000 cases reported in 2017. However, what many people do not see beyond those numbers is the lifetime impact of sexual violence to the survivors.”

“Through this project, I wanted to document the transformation that took place inside Banu’s life as my attempt to understand the struggle of a survivor. Because of her psychosocial disability, Banu knew that she could not utilize the most of her potentials. Therefore in order to survive, she had to reinvent herself several times. In her current situation, winning eventually become much more basic. If she is able to see the tomorrow’s sun with a smile, then it is already a victory. “

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“Banu” is an ongoing project.

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