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Invisible giants

Invisible giants
Celebrate in their lifetime inspiring women working for social justice and well-being in their communities

“Invisible Giants” was born out of a desire to shine a light on extraordinary women who work simply and quietly for the development of their communities; activists in their own right for social change.
Whether they’re from Kaolack, Toubab Dialaw, St Louis or Ziguinchor, from Africa or its diaspora, whether they’re political or civil society figures, feminists, committed activists or artists… All of them are totally dedicated and do remarkable work in the service of others.

We want to honor them by documenting their stories, showing their image, creating physical and virtual events to share their stories, the journey of their lives, and their experiences with as many people as possible; through a series of portraits and biographies that give a glimpse of how “ordinary women” can become pillars for an entire community and positively change the lives of many people in their immediate surroundings.
Battling, indomitable and strong-willed, they have love and generosity in common… They are full of life, despite the difficulties and pitfalls of their respective struggles.

“Invisible Giants is a concept I learned from another woman, another Invisible Giant. In 1996, during my first trip to the United States with the Institute for Popular Education in Mali, we met this force, this lady who regularly organizes a big event she calls “Jubilee”, which commemorates the struggle for black rights in the USA. A great event, but of all the activities, something touched me and stayed in my heart. It was an event she had named “Invisible Giants”; during which she presented trophies to women who had participated in the civil rights struggle. Women whose names were unknown, at least to us from Africa: Amélia Boynton (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelia_Boynton_Robinson), Mary Foster, Diana Nash… And Faya Rose Touré said: “There are so many women who have done so much for movements that are often invisible in the history of change. And I want to celebrate them”.

This lesson has stayed with me, and since then I’ve looked around and seen these Invisible Giants, these women who patiently transform their communities. Women to whom others turn when they are in need. When we look for them, we often find them… right under our noses. We see them without paying them any attention. There are so many women who have gone beyond the cultural, religious and economic frameworks that had already decided the limits of their destinies.

Every time I meet them and recognize them, I wonder what strength has enabled them to escape the spiral they’ve been on since birth. How and where do they find the strength and opportunity to survive and defy established norms?

I’ve been collecting stories about Invisible Giants for over twenty years, stories that are so true, they’re beyond fiction. Women’s stories that cure us of despair and cynicism. But who cares for those who care? Who takes care of the invisible giants and those who give hope?

The celebration of the Invisible Giants is an attempt to recognize and care for those who give so much to so many in our communities.”

Coumba Touré
Director Kuumbati


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