Publisher: Ipso Facto, 2010/2015
ISBN 978-90-77386-17-0 (2010 version: 978-90-77386-07-1)
104 pages, softcover, 235 mm x 320 mm
18 photographs + 8 war posters
Special limited “JAPANESE EDITION” (50 copies)
This special edition is published on the occasion of the exhibition of “Comfort Women” in Japan, organized by the Women’s Active Museum on War and Peace (WAM) in the Kid Ailack Hall, Tokyo, 10-25 October 2015.
Raping women seems to be a normal byproduct of wars. During World War II, the Japanese military even set up a system for sex slavery: Tens of thousands of “comfort women” in Asia were forced into prostitution at military brothels. In addition, many girls were abused sexually in railroad wagons, factory warehouses or night after night at home. Most of these women have suffered physical and emotional consequences ever since.
Jan Banning and Hilde Janssen visited Indonesian women who during the war were victims of forced sexual labor. In this book, 18 of them break the persistent taboo against speaking out on the issue. Showing them in combination with Japanese war posters, the book presents male and female sides of war, and propaganda versus reality. Short narratives depict the fate of these and other former comfort women, painting a gripping picture of this hidden history.
Hilde Janssen (b. 1959) is a journalist and anthropologist. For the past 15 years, she has lived and worked in Asia. From her base in Jakarta, Janssen traveled the Indonesian archipelago for two years searching for comfort women.
In 2015, she published the book “Enkele reis Indonesië.”
The project Comfort Women and the exhibition by the same name have been made possible with financial support from the Mondriaan Fund and the V-Fonds. Additional support for this publication was provided by the Fonds BKVB, Foundation Sem Presser Archief and the NLPVF.
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