Alice Walker’s latest work is a series of short essays about her travels and experiences in Rwanda, Congo, and the Gaza Strip. Working with Women for Women International and CODEPINK, Walker’s trips reveal a side of war and conflict that many are not aware of, specifically how everyday people are devastated and how in the direst circumstances they are able to rebuild their lives and their spirits.
After seeing the unthinkable Walker writes that she was thrust into a state of speechlessness. And more generally it seems that the world has been overcome with speechlessness and the inability to act; we are constantly bombarded with wars, conflicts, a mountain of ‘isms’, and environmental assault.
Whether it is because of media or our own shielding of the eyes Walker revealed for me that truth is relative to what you see and what you feel, what you allow yourself to see and feel. I find it an act of bravery for one person to reach in deep and pull out these stories, to start a dialogue so that we can un-shield our eyes and discuss. I’m sure others are doing similar work, I only hope that we will hear their voices.
Sharing these stories Walker is able to overcome speechlessness, to reclaim her voice and perhaps to give voice to others who are victims or who will propel change forward.