Breaking the silence

Their names are Rajwa, Diana, Élysée, Shreya, Isabelle… Each one of them has experienced violence and agreed to talk about their experiences, to tell her story, to talk about her suffering, her anger and her hopes.


With the photographic project Unsung Heroes, the NGO Doctors of the World [Médecins du Monde] and portrait artist, Denis Rouvre, wish to bear witness to the manifold violence against women worldwide. The violence of conflict and exile, sexual violence, domestic violence, family violence, inequality and the crushing weight of the social order.

This photography project was conceived as

an exhibition mixing photos, written and audio materials

Unsung Heroes invites you to listen to the inaudible, to meet those who live outside the spotlight, at the margins of history. The very same who resist, stand up and fight on a daily basis. Those who fight for women’s fundamental rights to be respected. Thus raising awareness for behaviors to change at last.

Unsung Heroes unveils some sixty portraits and testimonies shot and recorded between 2018 and 2019. The photographic project of Doctors of the World and Denis Rouvre was conceived as an exhibition mixing photos, written and audio materials. Presented to the public by the NGO for the first time in Paris in October 2019, and heading for a world tour in 2020.


The personal work of the photographer Denis Rouvre focuses on anonymous ordinary lives and extraordinary destinies, those he calls the « heroic figures ». We met them for the first time in his series Des Français. Identités, territoires de l’intime, presented in 2014 at the Rencontres d’Arles. He has been awarded prestigious prizes : three World Press Photo awards – in 2013 for his series Sumo, in 2012 for an image from the series Low Tide, in 2010 for his series Lamb –, the Hasselblad Masters Portrait 2012 and a SONY World Photography Award in 2011 for his series After meeting.

Denis Rouvre collaborated with Doctors of the World in the projects Regardons la précarité en face in 2014 and the exhibition Mise au Poing in 2017. While working on Unsung Heroes, he met some 100 women across nine countries.