On Saturday 5 October RAW in WAR celebrated the courage of the joint-winners of the 2018 Anna Politkovskaya Award Svetlana Alexievich (2015 Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature from Belarus) and Binalakshmi Nepram (a writer and women’s rights activist from Manipur in India) during a special event at LSO St. Luke’s (Barbican) in London.
RAW in WAR honoured Binalakshmi Nepram and Svetlana Alexievich with the 2018 Anna Politkovskaya Award for their bravery in speaking out and in defying injustice, violence and extremism in the context of ‘forgotten’ armed conflict in their regions, for which they have suffered death threats and as a result of which Binalakshmi had to go into exile to save her life.
At the 5 October event, RAW in WAR also announced the first participant in “Joy’s Brigade”, a leadership programme for young refugees in the UK, coming from war and conflict zones, and interested in human rights. The brigade will be set up in memory of Joy Watkins, a very strong supporter and colleague of all at RAW in WAR, who died in 2018. The first participant is Lejla Damon, a young woman, born during the war in Bosnia, as a result of her Bosnian Muslim mother being gang-raped by Serbian soldiers and then adopted by British war correspondents, Dan Damon of the BBC and camerawoman, Sian Damon.