An Italian Artist Is Running A Campaign To Put An End To Violence Against Women And We Are All For It
At the risk of this sounding like a history lecture, women have been oppressed since the beginning of time. There are millions of women out there who are being tormented in ways that are beyond our wildest imaginations. Yes, it is better now than it was five decades ago but is it enough? I don’t think so. It will not be enough until it is safe for a woman to walk out of her house at 2 in the morning and not have an icky feeling in her stomach. It will not be enough until there are zero cases (and I don’t mean just the registered ones) of domestic violence. It will not be enough until a mother is not targeted and harassed for giving birth to a girl child.
Unfortunately, around the world, these things still happen on a daily basis. We may not always stop to think about it, but the frequency at which violence against women in any form is increasing is truly heartbreaking. Of course, there are campaigns, movements and talks about ways to curb these heinous crimes but the impact of those are slow but thankfully steady now.
Amongst all those people and activists that are fighting with their sweat and blood against this social evil, is AleXsandro Palombo a contemporary artist/activist from Italy who is known for taking iconic faces and portraying them in horrible conditions to spread the message about violence against women.
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This time he took to the streets of Milan to put up staggering posters that portray the disfigured and beaten up faces of seven prominent world politicians. The posters feature Michelle Obama, Sonia Gandhi, Hillary Clinton, Angela Markel, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Brigitte Macron and Aung San Suu Kyi.
The campaign titled “Just because I am a woman” is a genius way of bringing to light that no woman, no matter her age, caste, race, nationality is safe from oppression. The text under these posters read, “I’m a victim of domestic violence – I get paid less – I’ve experienced genital mutilation – I do not have the right to dress as I want – I can’t decide who I’m going to marry – I was raped”.
According to a statement, his aim behind this campaign was “to illustrate the drama that involves millions of women throughout the world with the intent to denounce, raise awareness and get a more incisive response from the institutions and politics.”
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The reason I describe his work as “genius” is that it creates an impact that very few campaigns have. There is something so compelling about his work, it will make anyone stop dead in their tracks and understand what he is trying to say. Needless to say, we need more voices like his in the world if we want even a 20% fighting chance.
This is not Alexsandro’s first campaign. He is popularly known for illustrating Disney Princesses beaten and bruised with a picture of their respective prince. The word “Coward” can be seen writing across each prince’s face. His aim behind this campaign was to spread the word that violence against women is a “global pandemic”. This entire campaign was impactful, hard-hitting and it stayed with me long after I saw those photos. And hey, that is the whole point, isn’t it?
Violence against women is not something that can be stopped overnight. But that does not mean it can’t be stopped at all, right? We need to strive and take steps in that direction so that we can see actual change. There are people like Alexsandro who are out there actually making a difference to this world and that by itself is commendable.