Directions: After entering the ‘Peace Wing’, turn left up the stairwell, where the exhibition images are displayed from bottom to top of the stairs.
As you ascend the north stairwell, take a few moments to explore the incredibly moving photo exhibition by Lee Karen Stow, ‘Women War and Peace’. Put together in 2016-17 and launched at the Senedd, the exhibition explores women’s perspectives on war through powerful portraits and stories from Wales and across the world.
Lee is a photojournalist from Yorkshire whose work has been displayed at venues across the world – including Cambridge University and the UN headquarters in New York. She has travelled the world collecting stories of war and peace; the inspiration for her documentary work came from a visit to Sierra Leone in 2007, when she met women displaced by a decade of civil war. Since then she has travelled the world recording the personal stories of women of war and conflict, and women who campaign for peace.
In Lee’s words: “In 2017 Wales for Peace asked me to photograph some of the many women in Wales involved in or affected by war and conflict, along with a fraction of women who have campaigned and who continue to work and hope for peace. The faces on the walls will only be a few examples of the many individuals out there whose stories have yet to be told and shared. We hope this exhibition can begin a conversation about the historic and ongoing presence of war on our lives, and the ongoing search for peace.”
Lee’s work with Wales for Peace in 2017 also inspired a new generation of young photojournalists, thanks to a linked project between WCIA and Ffotogallery, the national agency for photography in Wales. Lee undertook a workshop with photography students from Whitchurch High school, Cardiff, talking about her work, off the back of which a film was created as the basis for a series of workshops in 6 schools across south Wales, who produced documentary films about peace stories in their communities.