Empathy for those living in the harsh face of human rights abuses is most strongly triggered by our ability to see ourselves in another’s situation. But how can we see ourselves in the reality of women living in Ghana’s witch camps? They live in mud huts, are often illiterate and wholly reliant on ancient technologies to cook, wash, farm or fetch water. Theirs is a culture with a belief system different from our own.
So how do we begin to understand their lives?
We can see them as we see our neighbors, helping to raise the community’s children. We can see them as we see our friends, sometimes competing for male attention. We can see as our sisters, struggling with unseen demons. We can see them as our mothers or grandmothers, needing care and attention as they age. We can see them as ourselves, worrying about surviving the lean times.
Ghana’s witch camps are a conundrum: for some, they are the beginning of a sentence; for others, they are the beginning of sanctuary.
Put yourselves here, now, as you view this collection. See what can happen when lives tip over the thin line between survival and serious trouble.
Karen Palmer, Author
Spellbound: Inside West Africa’s Witch Camp