From 5pm June 22nd until midnight on June 23rd, in recognition of INTERNATIONAL WIDOW’S DAY, Yoko Ono’s participatory artwork MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL will be projected on the General Assembly west side wall of the United Nations Headquarters, 3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY, USA.


On June 23rd,  INTERNATIONAL WIDOW’S DAY, we recognise the
strength, suffrage, wisdom and beauty of all women, especially
Mothers and particularly widows – the hardships they bear
and their great triumphs over terrible adversities.

MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL is a tribute to all Mothers of the World
from each of your children; a celebration of the love that nurtures us all.

Upload your mother’s photo to one of these groups: FacebookFlickr
Write her name
a note about her, to her and to yourself.
If it gets to be a love letter, a poem or a very long message or as long as a novel (!)
that’s fine.

Make sure to squeeze her with big hugs and kisses in your mind
and send it with a sprinkle of  i ii iii

Yoko Ono Lennon
For International Widow’s Day: Thursday 23 June 2011

By urging us to celebrate the maternal love we experienced as children, or perhaps much later in life,
MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL engages our most personal memories.

Let’s fill these
Facebook and Flickr groups with thousands of tributes to the love that nurtures us all.  

Please be aware that the photos & messages you upload will be publicly viewable as an artwork.


Facebook Group Flickr Group



International Widow’s Day Press Conference at UN

Thank you Cherie Blair and the Loomba Foundation for hosting this wonderful evening.

It is an honor to be here at the United Nations, an institution we need now more than ever, the institution which allows us to express and communicate our united and true voice. International Widows Day, which we acknowledge every year, has come again. And on this day, my thoughts of the widows of the world, is particularly strong.

As a widow, I’ve known the pain of losing your soul mate. However, until I was well into being a widow myself, I had no idea what being a widow meant in some parts of the world. Once you lose the position of being a wife of a man, you are forced by the male society to become a human being with no rights. Quite often, you lose everything to your husband’s family of what you have accumulated with your hard work. Most of the time, in such circumstances, your children are taken away from you by your husband’s family, for the reason that, financially, you could no longer take care of your own.

International Widow’s Day shines a light on the injustice experienced by widows. Organizations such as the Loomba Foundation help them to find their voice and help them to secure their rightful position in the society. Every year, we, widows of the world get together, and give each other encouragement and inspiration on how to save the widows who are suffering the insufferable. What can we do? There is a lot we can do. But this year as I was asked to present a work of mine to shed light on this cause, I chose to dedicate one of my participatory work called “MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL.”


It is a virtual blank canvas- inviting all people to make an accolade to their mothers, publicly probably for the first time, and share their love for her with us all. Write your mother’s name, a note about her, to her and to yourself.
Upload your mother’s photo so we can see her wise eyes, wisened by the years of harsh experience she went through in life without receiving any acknowledgement she deserved: a woman who toiled in silence and has been destined to be forgotten by the society. She is quite often forgotten and/ or mistreated by her own children as well.

The concept of distance is rapidly disappearing in our world of communication. We are indeed quickly becoming the global village as we speak. Still, the vast majority of the widows of the world are being treated most horribly, without any insurance of life.

Her labour of love has created you, and by that it created our world. As you add your tribute to the website, it will also send her the message how much you love her, and how much you are proud of her. And, just maybe, she may realize what she meant to the world as well. That will take a few wrinkles off her face the botox could never do! We are the consequences of her hard labour, her power and wisdom as a woman, which she gave freely to us, and therefore, to the world.

MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL will be filled with your love for your mothers and will go around the world like a song.

Let the world know of your love for her, share your love for your mother with the world on MY MOMMY IS BEAUTFIUL.. That is how we can start to help the widows of our planet. By giving her the rightful dignity by letting the whole world know that we all owe her to express our love and respect to her.
Thank you.

Thank you Madame Bongo, First Lady of Gabon, for supporting us here on this important day….

Yoko Ono Lennon
International Widow’s Day Press Conference at UN
June 22, 2011


Massive exhibit to light entire UN building in honor of International Widows’ Day

In recognition of the first ever United Nations International Widows’ Day on June 23rd, the Loomba Foundation has joined hands with renowned artist Yoko Ono in sponsoring a commemorative art exhibit at the United Nations. Yoko Ono’s unique artwork will be exhibited at the United Nations in honor of widows around the world. Unveiled today, June 22, on the eve of International Widows’ Day, this project is an extension of Ms. Ono’s ongoing online project titled MY MOMMY IS BEAUTIFUL, a tribute to women and mothers around the world. An exhibition of a series of paintings highlighting the global plight of widows by London-based artist Reeta Sarkar was also launched.
The Loomba Foundation, a leading NGO dedicated to widows’ awareness and rights, initiated June 23rd as International Widows’ Day in London in 2005. Since then, the Foundation has campaigned to get the day recognized by the United Nations which occurred last December following a unanimous resolution sponsored by the Government of Gabon.
Talking about her exhibit and the plight of widows, Yoko Ono said, “Mothers are the heroes of families. But in many societies, widowed mothers have no voice and are not valued as human beings. My hope with this collaboration is to make a big statement about the value of all mothers.”

Cherie Blair, President of the Loomba Foundation, said, “There are few resources in the world available to help widows achieve a safer and more comfortable existence, to promote their equality, and to pursue justice on their behalf. Ms. Ono’s exhibit, Reeta Sarkar’s artwork, and the United Nations declaring June 23rd International Widows’ Day have directed the world’s attention towards widows and towards developing fundamental resources to assist them. Recognizing how widows are marginalized is the first step in alleviating the plight faced by many women in this forgotten group. In creating these moving pieces of art, Ms. Ono and Ms. Sarkar are helping raise consciousness about the need for dignity, respect and fundamental human rights for all widows around the world.”

Raj Loomba, Founder and Chairman Trustee of the Loomba Foundation, said that greater public engagement in helping the world’s 245 million widows is essential for overcoming social and economic adversities widows face. “Anything we can do to help these women seek justice and have access to the appropriate resources will change the lives of so many individuals and families,” he commented.

“Gabon has had to confront its own social and cultural challenges concerning widows, which is why leading the effort to pass International Widow’s Day was so important and personal for me,” said Madame Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the First Lady of the Republic of Gabon and the champion of the International Widow’s Day resolution in the UN General Assembly. “International Widow’s Day shines a light on widows, and Yoko’s brilliant piece humanizes them to the world.”

This evening, Lord Loomba and Mrs. Blair will also host a cocktail reception at Le Cirque in conjunction with opening of the art exhibit and on the eve of International Widows’ Day. The reception honors Madame Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the First Lady of the Republic of Gabon, and Dr. Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.

The Loomba Foundation
The Loomba Foundation seeks to promote the fundamental freedoms and human rights of widows and their children around the world. It runs programs to help empower widows socially and economically and raises awareness of gross injustices women face when they lose their husbands. The Loomba Foundation works with UN bodies, government officials, prominent leaders, and civil society advocates to fight for the over 245 million widows worldwide who suffer dreadful prejudice and discrimination. It seeks to promote gender-sensitive reform of national laws and policies, eradicating anti-widow superstitions, traditions, and social practices, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, implementing poverty-reduction strategies, and promoting opportunities for the education of widows and their children.