Janneth Gil

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1975

Widow in Prayer - A martyr's absence gives way to his eternal presence

  • 2019
  • Archival pigment print on Galerie Prestige Gold Fibre Gloss paper
  • Purchased 2021
  • 535 x 795mm
  • 2021/143

On 15 March 2019, a gunman attacked the Al Noor Mosque (Masjid An-Nur) and Linwood Islamic Centre, killing fifty-one people and injuring forty. This was described as one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s darkest days. Since this time, Colombian-born artist Janneth Gil has been working with members of Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Muslim communities, who come from many different cultures and parts of the world, to develop projects that promote dialogue, respect and empathy.

These photographs are from the series Darkness into Light. They share intimate moments with some of the women whose lives were changed forever through this tragedy. We must recall the incident in viewing these works, but are also reminded of the solidarity and support shown locally and globally in response. With these works Janneth contributes to the groundswell of protest against racism in Aotearoa. In sharing their grief, we are encouraged to take action and address systemic problems as we strive for a more inclusive society.

These photographs were taken thanks to the help of many people and organisations: the team from the Widows of Shuhada documentary project, members from the Linwood Islamic Centre, Al Noor Mosque (Masjid An-Nur), Tim J. Veling and the affected families of the Shuhada (Martys), Ambreen Naeem, Angela Armstrong, Farah Talal, Dr Hamimah Tuyan, Muhubo Ali Jama, Sanjida Jaman Neha and Shafia Begum.

Exhibition History