Col­lec­tive wants safer streets for all women

CityPress - - News - GARRETH VAN NIEKERK garreth.van­niek­erk@city­

Like some­thing out of a Mar­vel comic, a masked hero­ine took to the streets of Johannesburg to per­form an arts protest that dis­rupted the friv­o­lous at­mos­phere of this week’s First Thurs­day art events in Johannesburg.

The anony­mous per­former, who is part of a col­lec­tive called Her Shadow Was Here, walked the streets while pro­jected an­i­ma­tions of Johannesburg’s ha­rassed women lit up the in­ner city’s build­ings.

“We need to em­pha­sise the fact that women can’t walk safely in the streets, and that we have no city in this coun­try that we can live in safely,” the per­former told City Press by tele­phone.

“The main out­come of the work is to re­mind peo­ple of the state of the na­tion at the mo­ment, not just out­side, but in their homes,” she said.

For the next few months, dif­fer­ent per­for­mances and protests will take place around the city.

“The mes­sage last night was that we need to make city streets safe for women, but it will also evolve. We’re an­gry, and we all need to oc­cupy these city spa­ces. But the prob­lem is big­ger than that. When will it be safe at home, to leave the house, or to go to uni­ver­sity?”

The next per­for­mance by the Her Shadow Was Here col­lec­tive will take place in three weeks.

“I’m en­cour­ag­ing women who want to get in­volved to join me. The only way things are go­ing to get bet­ter is if we do some­thing to­gether,” she said.

To find out more about the next per­for­mance protest, fol­low Her Shadow Was Here on its Twit­ter and In­sta­gram ac­counts (@fol­lowher­shadow).

TALK TO US Do you think protest art can con­tribute to­wards the fight against gen­der-based vi­o­lence?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word SHADOW. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince. SMSes cost R1.50

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