Through photographs by Eddie Adams and interviews by human rights activist Kerry Kennedy, gripping stories are revealed of 51 men and women around the globe who put their lives on the line, surviving imprisonment, torture, and death threats, because of hope for and dedication to a future where equality is common and oppression rare.
For instance, there is Ka Hsaw Wa, who, after hearing stories of horrific torture and abuse from Burmese villagers, took the bold step of bringing a lawsuit against the American oil company Unocal for using human rights abuses to further its profit margins. To protect himself as he gathers documentation, he travels the jungle in black clothes and has had to interview victims using only his memory for lack of pen and paper. Fauziya Kassindja came to her work through no choice of her own--when she fled Togo to escape genital mutilation she found herself shackled and abandoned in the U.S. prison system, and has become a force for change in both countries. Others have seen a need and filled it, such as Muhammed Yunus, who has achieved miraculous results in Bangladesh by giving small loans to those who no one else would entrust with money--poor women without collateral. The results have been nothing less than the transformation of the women, their families, and the political landscape of a nation.
There are also the famous here: Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Václav Havel speaks on becoming a dissident and the divine, while the Dalai Lama talks about compassion, suffering, and nonviolence. These are extraordinary people, and yet they are as human as the rest of us. As Oscar Arias Sanchez says, "One works for justice not for the big victories, but simply because engaging in the struggle is itself worth doing." An inspiring work made beautiful by photographs by renowned photographer Eddie Adams. --Lesley Reed