Courage Ablaze

Pamela Alderman's avatar Pamela Alderman

“Courage,” said C.S. Lewis, “is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” Sazi witnessed the brutal deaths of her husband and parents. Forced to flee her home, she endured unspeakable trauma—eight years of imprisonment and rape. It was after a choir concert when I first met Sazi and the other African refugees now living in West Michigan. These singers wore colorful native dresses trimmed with cowrie shells. This spontaneous meeting led me on a path into the heart of Africa: a place unsafe to be a woman. Although lines of pain trace Sazi’s face, courage is etched in her soul—the kind of true courage that is hammered out on the anvil of life’s most horrifying circumstances. My ArtPrize 2012 work will highlight Sazi and this heroic group of women. Reflecting back to the first time I heard this vibrant group sing “Mambo sawa sawa” (things are getting better), I finally have been able to encapsulate their strength: Courage Ablaze.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth:
  • Medium: Watercolor
  • Width: 27 inches
  • Year created: 2012
  • Height: 7 feet