Cornelia Li for Longreads

Cornelia Li collaborates with journalist duo, Kim Wall and Mansi Choksi, in a profound Longreads article. They explore the history and female-strong army that stood in line with Sri-Lankan terrorist group, The Tamil Tigers. 

A sensitive story, it was important for Cornelia to focus on the experiences of the women instead of glorifying the war. A lot of emotion is conveyed through the composition of the piece; there is a stark contrast between the woman raising her arm with a weapon and lowering it to serve her family dinner. A woman's place was very much in the impact zone as well as the home. A vivid colour palette represents harsh conflict, whilst the subdued hues echo the turmoil of the realities of war.

The article explores three women's reasons for joining the Tamil Tigers; either through pure desperation to stay alive or deep-rooted belief in the movement. From whichever angle the women joined, the article explains their pain and struggle. The strength of the illustrated woman's gaze powerfully recognises this. In the left hand frame, the woman is pictured as fierce as determined, whereas the glaze of her stare is shadowed when she steps away from the frontline.

Not long after Mansi and Kim filed this story, Kim Wall was murdered whilst carrying out another reporting assignment. This story is the last piece she wrote. Mansi worked closely with Longreads to get this article published and publicised. 

To honour Kim's memory, the Kim Wall Memorial Fund was created to "find a female reporter to cover subculture, broadly defined, and what Kim liked to call 'the undercurrents of rebellion'. 

Cornelia's illustrative companion certainly does the article, Kim Wall and the Tamil women justice. It is a remarkable collaborative projection of a group of women that were brilliant in very different ways. 

At Artistique International, we manage leading contemporary artists specialising in intelligent advertising and editorial illustration. Based in New York, London and Marbella, we are a truly international illustration agency that's able to offer a boutique service around the globe. 

Cornelia Li