48" x 60"
About Soldier Boy
The boys in this painting are from the Tchukudu Kids home (TKH). An image I captured of the orphaned boys playing football from behind the razor wire wall surrounding the TKH. These security measures are in place because the boys and girls who live at TKH are always at risk of being kidnapped for recruitment into rebel militia groups*. In spite of this dark reality, the children create and find joy within the walls.
Why the Coca-Cola? You can find Coca-Cola advertisements painted on walls all across Africa. Entire buildings are painted red with the stark white logo. I have seen Internally Displaced People (IDP) Camps that no longer have access to food or water, however, somehow the infrastructure allows one to find a Coke in the farthest-reaching communities.
It’s a question of priority. What do we prioritize as important? Big Business certainly has the means to make a positive contribution to these communities, however, they chose not to. This is a global crisis.
*Africa has the highest growth rate in the use of children in conflict, and on average, the age of those enlisted is also receding. In 2003 it was estimated that up to 30,000 children were used as soldiers in the DRC, with children making up to forty percent of some militias.