As of November, 2021, the war and famine in Tigray Province in Ethiopia has claimed tens of thousands of lives. According to UNICEF, 1.8 million are on the brink of famine, and 400,000 are already there. Two million people have been displaced, and close to 5.2 million still require humanitarian assistance.
Several organizations are attempting, despite military resistance, to deliver aid to desperate citizens, including Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee, and Global Giving.
Save Tigray is employing a novel approach. Before the conflict began, in November, 2020, we were planning to empower traditional artisans in Tigray by converting their handicrafts to NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and selling them online through Fair Trade sites.
Current conditions make this impossible. So what we're doing to raise both funding for victims and awareness of the crisis is offering NFTs created by our artists based on images and actual photos from the war-torn region. Proceeds go to the above organizations.
The photo below was taken on February 26, 2021 by Eduardo Soteras of AFP, after a massacre allegedly committed by Eritrean soldiers in the village of Dengolat, Tigray, Ethiopia.
After reviewing thousands of photos of the war, this one somehow spoke to us. The emotion on the faces of the nine women is the same, but somehow completely different. Using filters and effects, we were able to bring forth different aspects and depths of feeling that raise the photo to the realm of fine art by showing both the differences and the common Humanity of all the mourners. We (John Toomey, Soani Gunawan, Jackson Mbulu, LaJuana Maputo) dedicate these works to the long-suffering people of Tigray.
Original Photo February 21, 2021 Women mourning massacre victims
Heart of Darkness
Desolation of the Earth
Shadows of Pain
And they shall not return
From the Depths of Hell
Our Tigray Arifa
The Realm of Darkness
The Earth pours forth her Sadness
The Story of the Photo
Women mourn the victims of a massacre allegedly perpetrated by Eritrean Soldiers in the village of Dengolat,
North of Mekele, the capital of Tigray on February 26, 2021. - A report by Amnesty International on February 27, 2021
alleges Eritrean soldiers fighting in Tigray had killed hundreds of people in November last year in what the rights
group described as a likely crime against humanity. The presence of Eritrean troops in Ethiopia in the Tigray conflict
has been widely documented but has been denied by both countries. Tigray has been the theater of fighting since early
November 2020, when Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced military operations against the northern
region's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, accusing it of attacking federal army camps.
(Photo by EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)