poster for gender based violence exhibition

Exhibition at University of Brighton highlights gender-based violence in UK and Mexico

Trans-sensory stories of gender-based violence: I feel, therefore I resist is at Grand Parade (14 – 18 Nov) and features artwork, sometimes provocative and disturbing, and includes illustration, fine art painting, comic stories, zines, performance, poetry, film, video, sculpture, light art and creative writing.

When? 10am-5pm daily, 14-18 November 2023.
Where Grand Parade main building, BN2 0JY

Book here for round-table discussions, workshops and guided tours

Academic lead Dr Lesley Murray, Professor in Spatial Sociology in the School of Humanities and Social Science, says that the aims of the project are twofold.

“Firstly, it uses a different approach, based on stories instead of crime statistics which often underplay the incidence of gender-based violence, particularly more common forms such as catcalling and touching,” she said. “The project also aims to promote a trans-national dialogue. Gender-based violence is a global issue shared predominantly by women and girls, including trans women and girls, across the world. The exhibition in Mexico showed that raising awareness can initiate the process of recuperation.”

In the UK, one woman is killed every three days while in Mexico 10 women are killed every day, because they are women.

The exhibition grew out of a project investigating women’s experiences of gender-based violence during the pandemic, which produced a surge in reports of domestic violence. These stories were gathered and given to artists to interpret. In a series of waves, other artists then worked from the growing number of artworks produced, including artists working with co-researchers at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City.

The work from both the UK and Mexico is currently being displayed in Mexico before transferring to Brighton.

Works in the exhibition include Zenana by New York glass artist Tom Unger and writer Sohaila Abdulali, which uses text and neon light, while animator/filmmaker and art therapist Tony Gammidge’s A Film About Gender Based Violence (2023) uses shadow puppet characters to show the impact of this everyday violence.

“Shocking but familiar stories”

Artist and University of Brighton senior lecturer in the School of Art and Media Vanessa Marr’s work The Tea Party is a vintage tablecloth embroidered with drawings of the typical teatime paraphernalia of crockery and cake, some of which are tipped over or broken to suggest violence. Direct quotes from the women are embroidered around the crockery. Vanessa says the experience of making the artwork had a profound effect on her.

“The stories were both shocking and, in some cases, horribly familiar, because sadly catcalling or feeling threatened by men when out alone, for example running as citing in several stories, is a common experience” she said. “I chose to embroider their words, so I spent a long time repeating their experiences in my head, because a single phrase can take hours to stitch. This was quite traumatic, and I wished for someone to talk to about it. It also made me furious that women still face situations like this. “

University of Brighton Creative Writing alumni Tanaka Mhishi and Mercy Roberts, and current PhD student Vicki Painting have work exhibited alongside Rosy Carrick, Ottilie Hainsworth, Karolina Jonc Buczek, Sabba Khan, Roszita Parker, Betsy Greer, Woodrow Phoenix, Chris Reading, Sophie Kathleen Stevens, Jemma Treweek, Sarah Ushurhe, Elijah Vardo, and Ruschika Wason Singh.

The Mexican artists involved in the project are Julia Antivilo, Ana Barreto, Dora Bartilotti, Alejandra Collado, Dahlia de la Cerda, María Antonieta de la Rosa, Karla Helena Guzmán y Valeria, Ysunza Pérez-Gil (Colectiva GeoBrujas), Sonia Madrigal, Barbara Muñoz de Cote and Frederick Rodríguez.

The exhibition, which opened in Mexico on 14 October, has proved popular with visitors expressing surprise that domestic violence is an issue in other countries. One of the visitors said: “The works shown make me feel that it doesn’t just happen to me and the women and girls that I know. All of us, regardless of place, live the same violences.”

For further information and to book roundtables and workshops, email or click here.


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One thought on “Exhibition at University of Brighton highlights gender-based violence in UK and Mexico

  1. A heartfelt thank you for shedding light on the “Trans-sensory stories of gender-based violence: I feel, therefore I resist” exhibition, a powerful platform for sharing narratives that often go unspoken. 🗣️🎨 This initiative, bridging art and personal stories, offers a unique perspective on gender-based violence, prompting essential conversations and raising awareness.Avukat Denizli; Denizli Avukat; Denizli En iyi Avukat👏❤️ #GenderEquality #ArtForChange

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