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Social Justice Projects - An assortment of projects below

“Abuse- The Prison Within”


who sits behind these bars

this cage

looking out, there is a square

small vision

on the box that lets a view past the door


dreams, futures are there

but approach is clumsy

like dragging a weight

tension pulls you back, it is your mind

those places forever scorched

by the perversion of others

visited upon the unwilling


sometimes the door is open

but the bars remain close by

it is a sad thing, this wedge

that divides humanity

between the whole and the scarred


for in the end it does not touch just one

but all that come into its presence

feel the unease deep in their self

they cannot name it


it is a prison

whose walls you scale over and over

you can climb out,

but the door is always open to return


you wish that it were locked

to keep you out

but the key that opens is all the emotions

of an imperfect day

and a weariness that comes

from endless escapes.


detail figure 1.jpg
I Must Return - CONE MASTER.mp3Artist Name
00:00 / 03:54




Peace Should Not Be This Fragile: A Portrait of Panzi

(this music speaks to the enduring tragedy of

sexual abuse and the struggle to overcome it)


I Must Return 


Verse 1:

Know my time is limited 

I can’t stay here for long

My bones, my breath, my mind are chained

Imprisoned even though I did no wrong


Temporary freedom 

A larger price than gift

Healed above the surface 

Below the scars surround the life I live


But will you sit with me for just a moment 

I don’t believe that you can understand 

The heart of who I used to be was stolen 

What’s left is left to pace around an island

if I’m freed I must return. 


Verse 2: 

Go I’ll catch up later

I can’t go on like this

Maybe in the future

I’ll find the heart I missed. 


Will you sit with me for just a moment? 

I don’t believe that you can understand 

The heart of who I used to be was stolen 

What’s left is left to pace around an island

if I’m freed I must return...




Could you wait with me for one more moment?

And hold my hand before you say goodbye 

These patterns keep repeating

Everything is fleeting, but I try 

if I’m freed I must return. 

St.Petersburg FL
Winnipeg MN
RIchmond VA

Artist Statement: The Panzi Projects

Peter Frantz,  primary artist and curator

“Peace Should not be this Fragile: A Portrait of Panzi”

Graffiti Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba


Opening night for the exhibit- an exhibit based on a seemingly eternal conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the heart of Africa.  We are presenting a vignette of life amidst the uncertainty of endless struggle, in a land of honorable people.  People whose fate seems bound to be determined by the few who are governed by an empty moral soul. In the east of that troubled land sits Panzi Hospital and its director, Dr Denis Mukwege.


At its heart, the exhibit is about the women and children of Panzi.  We see them and tell their stories.  A chronicle of the times presented by professional artists from across the country, along with student-artists from the Churchill and RB Russell High schools.  The context of history - past, present and future, is all around us.


‘Doomed to repeat’ is too linear for me.  The horror is not in the past, the bright future is not somewhere in the distance. We live in the swirl of time’s singularity on a constant basis.  It is a moment and forever, all at once. 


We look for salvation; perhaps we should look more to response.  In the end it is always about response:  to what you see, hear and live - right now.  Response from parents, whose children-artists opened their eyes. Teachers who saw their lessons come alive. Lifelong artists who looked for portraits in the images from Panzi, and saw inextinguishable hope. And sorrow. 


Art created by young men and women, who opened their hearts, creating a narrative of peace that spoke to history, but was painted with colors from the emotions of now.  They looked into the dark, and they were surprised. And changed. 


Perhaps we all were.


This is happening at the Graffiti Gallery - a wonderful place, with wonderful, caring, people, where the past, the present and future have no boundaries.


Peter Frantz

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