Through an exhibition that critics have called “devastating,” one photographer has assembled a series of clothing that both women and men were raped in. The presentation is aiming to highlight the rising epidemic of sexual violence.
Times are changing. Seedy behavior throughout the industry is at long last being confronted and brought to light. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, victims of sexual assault feel more support than ever in coming forward to report crimes.
Spanish artist Laia Abril, who now resides in Paris, has launched her new exhibition, "A History of Misogyny, Chapter Two: On Rape," a collection of images testimonies, quotes, and facts to document instances of rape. Of her character, Suzanne Moore of the Guardian, who interviewed Abril, said it’s unsurprising her subjects opened up to her, given her charming nature.
The exhibition shows black and white pictures of garments, with the victim’s statements underneath. One comes from a girl named Alina, who was a victim of bride kidnapping. She was forced to marry a man who continued to force her into having sex. Her testimony reads:
I was a 21-year-old student in my fourth year at Arabaev University. I wanted to be a fashion designer. [After the attack], my grandmother asked me not to disgrace the family [by speaking out].
Another photo in the exhibition shows a US military uniform. It belongs to Meredith, who was raped repeatedly by her commander, but didn’t want to speak about the experience for fear of being perceived as weak.
Of the two years it took for Abril to build a relationship with most of the women, she says: “it’s a collaborative process.”