Anonymous; Introduction by Antony Beevor: A Woman in Berlin - This book is the anonymous diary of a woman during the final days of the Second World War when Soviet troops conquered Berlin. The book documents the mass rapes that took place during this time and the everyday challenges of securing food and shelter under occupation. Themes include, victimisation, agency, masculinity, femininity, war, human relationships.
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Bana Alabed: Dear World – A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace - While ‘A Woman in Berlin’ is the product of a diary kept during a city’s occupation in the dying days of WWII, this account is much more recent. The book is all the more poignant given the fact that the voice belongs to seven-year-old Bana Alabed. Bana first rose to public attention via her tweets (it is interesting to situate Bana’s use of Twitter to record her thoughts with the author of the diary in ‘A Woman in Berlin’). Childishly simple tweets and all the more heart-breaking due to this simplicity: ‘I’m very afraid I will die tonight’ (October 2, 2016) and ‘Stop killing us’ (October 6, 2016). Bana tells her story – of loss in relation to the death of her best friend, her home and her country and of hope in relation to her future and the future of all children born or living in areas of conflict. The voices of these children are so often muted – surely when a child such as Bana speaks the rest of the world ought to listen. Themes include, war, violence, social media, refugees, hope.
Born of Conflict: Children of the Pacific War (Full documentary here.) This documentary is a result of a research project at the University of Otago and tells the story of three children born to women in the South Pacific and fathered by American servicemen stationed there during WWII. Themes include, war, family, culture.
Eithne Dowds: Children born of sexual violence under Islamic State need support (The Conversation) This article unpacks the unique set of issues which a child born of sexual violence in Iraq and Syria faces and will face in the future. This piece details how these children are effectively stateless, seen as ‘guilty by association’ and cloaked by stigma and suspicion. Themes include, war, sexual violence, reparation, childhood, victimisation.