"The ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ lithograph poster was created in 2015, during a project exploring the broad concept of childhood. I began by taking inspiration from artistic images I’d been brought up with - in story books by the Brothers Grimm, and Roald Dahl’s ‘Revolting Rhymes’ - tales many parents comfortably read to their children, their sometimes gruesome plots considered simply ‘dark fairytales’. In 2014 and 2015, the news was filled with real life horror stories affecting children around the world, the Ebola outbreak, the terror attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, and the assaults of Boko Haram - real life stories, however, stories we would shield from children.
I began creating whimsical images based on these reports, images fit for story books, but with tragic, true inspirations. The ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ image was made regarding the campaign launched in Nigeria after 276 schoolgirls were abducted from their hostels in Chibok, in April 2014. Some escaped by hiding in the Sambisa forest, but still, more than 1000 days on, 195 are still missing. Red being the campaign colours, and having traveled through the forest, the image depicts several red-hooded figures hiding amongst the branches - a nod at very well known fairytale." Elise Bell