Facing Brave: Women Take on the Acid Throwers - Leeds International Festival

Facing Brave: Women Take on the Acid Throwers

An abuse of power, a desire to mark as your own, a statement of hatred – the violent use of acid as a crime is on the up. Facing Brave looked to the people fighting back against this aggressive offence; to those working to empower victims and potential victims alike.

In this lively panel discussion, Bradford doctor Almas Ahmed shared the story of how she chose to confront the scourge of acid attacks by becoming the inventor of the world’s first acid-proof make-up.

The UK has one of the highest levels of acid attacks in the world – with around two attacks happening every day. Rather than wait for the victims to arrive at A & E (where she currently works), Dr Ahmed decided to formulate a new, clinically-approved product that would help to take the fear, and the power, away from acid-throwers.

Also on the panel, Women’s Rights expert Danielle Cornish Spencer gave a first-hand account of the international fight against this violent crime against women and girls, and set out some of the global and political challenges of acid-throwing.

Skin Scientist Dr Julie Thornton, explored the scientific challenge of skin burns, drawing on her experience of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit at the Centre for Skin Sciences, founded following the 1985 Bradford City disaster.

This event was curated by the Thackray Medical Museum, where, on a primary school trip, the young Almas Ahmed was first inspired to become a doctor. The powerful and compelling story of how acid-throwers are being taken on by women globally showed how each of us has the power to imagine, to invent, and to transform our world for the better.


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