Mexican Patchworks Project: We say no to gender violence consisting of the execution of a simultaneous activity in four different parts of Mexico, through one local organization in each city that defends human rights, women’s rights and empowers young people to take positive action in favor of social change. Each organization invited a local female visual artist or feminist activist.
Through an open call for participation, the local organization from each city invited at least 10 women from every sector to create a patchwork, expressing symbolically hope for the struggle against gender violence. Once the patchwork was ready, they exhibited it in a public space and invited people to attach their own images and phrases that symbolize their own hopes in the struggle against gender violence.
The local artist decided by which artistic means their portion of the patch- work would be elaborated and which type of material would be used. With the grant provided by Landscapes of Hope, ConArte shared the budget with the local organization for the purchase of materials for the activity and also a small economic support for the facilitating artists.
After the activity was carried out in each city and documented through live-streaming and video, the results or the product were sent to ConArte, in Mexico City (La Nana), where our own artists and curator put the pieces together.
Once the piece was entirely put together, there was a public presentation at La Nana, ConArte’s cultural space in the historic center of Mexico City.
The Mexican Patchworks Project was inspired by the protests of August 16th held in Mexico City due to the horrifying news that two police men had raped a young woman, who then sought lut justice, but found nothing but impunity and public shaming. These protests were characterized by pink glitter and the intervention of female activists on historic monuments: graffitti, burning, etc. After these events, what the media covered wasn’t the outrageous fact that this woman had been raped by police officers, but how feminists had “vandalized” the monuments. The media criticized the “violence” that women perpetrated against the monuments, as if the feminist struggle hadn’t tried pacific demonstrations, legal interventions, human rights demands, etc. This was a day that marked a threshold of women’s rights being violated constantly and nothing being done about it.
“If we can’t live in peace, you won’t either” and “The police don’t look out for me, my friends do” were some of the phrases that permeated our imaginations.
Even though in ConArte we don’t encourage violence in any way, we do understand and feel in our gut the urge to put a stop to the human rights violations that gender violence has on our bodies and minds everyday. After these events, and the media’s accusations and demands for other types of protest we wanted our Days of Hope project to be something that could travel and have an impact in different communities and that was made in a collective and collaborative manner with local artists and groups that work for gender equality in a country that routinely allows the murders of 10 women every day. We chose Colima, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chihuahua for these activities and reached out to NGO’s that we knew work in this manner. They all gratefully accepted to be part of the project and that’s when the simultaneous activity would take place in four states where gender violence is a threat.