Speaking Up, Speaking Out...
Against Domestic Violence

An awareness and visibility project around issues of domestic violence in various communities.

5.02.2006

Rape as a Tactic of War

This is not a personal experience, but it's a really powerful art piece that I sort of fell in love with after it was sent as a submission, and so I'm including it here. (Especially note the medium in which it's done.)

Artist: Kate Goldwater (bio)
Artist's Location: 22 year old, white, middle class, student, New York City
Medium: menstrual blood, acrylic paint.
Title: "Rape as a Tactic of War"
Brief explanation (from artist): This piece represents the systematic rape of thousands of Darfurian women. After being driven from their homes, 2.5 million Darfurian refugees reside in camps where security and international presence is low. In order to to cook food and stay warm, refugees must leave their camps, towns, and villages to gather water and firewood. The Janjaweed militias, or armed men on horseback, either recruit or kill any Darfurian men en route to collecting supplies. In their place, women go out to collect, facing brutal rapes and beatings in order to return alive. Darfurian culture places such disgrace on rape that these victims keep silent or could be banned from their own families. For this reason, I depict the women covering their faces in shame.

"Rape as a Tactic of War" is done in acrylic paints and my own menstrual blood. I paint with my menses to draw attention to important issues as well as alleviate stigmas on feminine hygiene. I hope to convey that menstrual blood and cycles are not dirty or taboo, but rather a beautiful, positive aspect of women's bodies. I use environmentally friendly, economical, and reusable sea sponges in place of tampons to cut down on the amount of waste produced by paper products. I depict feminist topics such as violence against women, female genital cutting, and reporoductive rights and access to abortion/contraception to raise awareness about the topics.


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(Click on image to enlarge)

1 Comments:

  • At 5/04/2006 1:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is a powerful testament to a struggling population. Keep fighting for attention for the millions in Darfur.

     

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