Photojournalist and ShootQ Partner to Bring Awareness to Rape Victims in Eastern Congo

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Sherrlyn Borkgren will use $10,000 ShootQ Grant to share images, stories with world.

It's hard to imagine a worse place in human history to be a woman. There are clinics in this region that will treat 8,000 rape victims this year. These are 8,000 women whose lives and families have been ripped apart. Together, ShootQ and my photography will rally awareness about one of the most terrible crises in the world.

ShootQ, the web-based studio management solution of choice for event photographers, today announced the winner of the 2008 ShootQ Grant. Sherrlyn Borkgren, a wedding photographer and photojournalist, has been awarded $10,000 by ShootQ to bring awareness to the violent rape, torture and abuse of women by militiamen in the Eastern Congo.

With the help of the ShootQ grant, Sherrlyn will travel to Congo this Fall to tell the story of personal and communal devastation caused by widespread rape and torture throughout the region. She will spend time in the North Kivu area with young girls who are suffering the permanent physical and emotional effects of this terrible injustice. Using photography, audio and writing, she will share their story with the rest of the world.

According to a 2008 report issued by the International Rescue Committee, the decade-long humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo has left more than 5.4 million dead. Millions more in the region have suffered through immeasurable violence, abuse and displacement, especially women and young girls.

Sherrlyn comments: "It's hard to imagine a worse place in human history to be a woman. There are clinics in this region that will treat 8,000 rape victims this year. These are 8,000 women whose lives and families have been ripped apart. Together, ShootQ and my photography will rally awareness about one of the most terrible crises in the world."

The ShootQ Grant was established this year to allow photographers to invest time working on projects that raise awareness about important issues. More than a monetary award, the ShootQ Grant provides photographers with the opportunity to work on a meaningful project with the creative freedom and financial support necessary to produce photographs that raise public awareness about important social, environmental and economic issues.

"Powerful images spur powerful action. We created the ShootQ Grant to help photographers use their talent and passion to inspire change," said Rachel LaCour Niesen, founder and partner, ShootQ. "We are privileged to work with Sherrlyn. Her determination and talent will bring hope to one of the most tragic chapters in the history of our world."

To review Sherrlyn's winning essay, and to learn more about the ShootQ Grant, please visit http://www.shootqgrant.com. More information on ShootQ and its web-based studio management solution can be found at http://www.shootq.com.

About ShootQ
ShootQ is a web-based studio management solution designed to make photographers' lives simpler and their studios more profitable by allowing them to focus on what they enjoy doing - being creative! ShootQ takes care of many tedious tasks like filling out invoices and contracts, keeping track of client info, accumulating vendor contact info and more. For more information, please visit http://www.shootq.com.

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Hannah Bower
ShootQ
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