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Portraits for shame

Dia Mundial contra les Mines, Darfur, Sudan

Fatul Suleiman, 10-year-old boy from Dar al Salam (Darfur, Sudan), shows a deep shyness, very strange for a boy of his age. Six years ago, the explosion of a bomb that had been abandoned near his home clawed his beauty forever. And now, when his family receive visits at home, he never look into the eyes of the guests and always tries to hide behind the body of his father.

Harum Ali, aged 17 and originally from Mellit (also in Darfur), shows a much more extroversion. Despite having lost two brothers and mobility of his body after the explosion of a bomb with which he was playing last January, Harum appreciates the attention he gets every day from doctors, his family and his three friends who are with him night and day since he suffered the accident.

Both, despite their experiences of suffering, willingly accept being photographed for a story commemorating the day against mines. They want their faces and their wounds embarrass those who are actively involved in a conflict that is lengthening too in Darfur.

The United Nations called April 4 as the International Day of Mine Awareness, because there is much work to be done to educate people (especially children) about the dangers of handling explosive remnants abandoned during or after a war. But it is important not to forget that those responsible for these tragedies are not children by ignoring the tragic consequences that may incur these artifacts, sometimes as small as a pack of gum. The main and only responsible are those who, in addition to killing each other for stupid ideals, leave shit shit everywhere.

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