“Women Are Heroes”, JR’s street gallery in Sierra Leone, Liberia [VIDEO of the WEEK]

“The city’s the best gallery I could imagine. I would never have to make a book and then present it to a gallery and let them decide if my work was nice enough to show it to people. I would control it directly with the public in the streets.” ( JR)

French photographer known simply as JR is back with a new public art project dedicated to women. “Women are Heroes” is a multimedia project dedicated to women in developing countries. They asked women to tell their stories, many of them horrific, and later asked them to make faces for a portrait. The images were then blown up and displayed on public walls, buses, on the side of buildings, in the women’s communities for all to see. The faces force the viewer to rethink and reconsider the millions of nameless women in countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Kenya, etc. These women have a story.

The video opens with a woman, Awa, from Bo, Sierra Leone, tears stream down her face as she explains how she lost her son in the war. But this is not a story about death, rather it is a celebration of women, survival, and life. “Women are heroes” won a 2011 Ted Prize, and premiered at the Cannes film festival in 2010.