THE Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) is highlighting personal stories of female survivors of domestic and sexual violence in an art exhibition at The Star Pitt St. in Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, Penang.
Titled ‘My Story, My Strength: Doodle for Change’, the exhibition features 10 art pieces by contemporary artists alongside survivors’ actual accounts, and runs until Sunday.
WCC president Lalitha Menon said the unique project encouraged survivors to break their silence, and inspire more people to play their part in ending gender violence in society.
“We were lucky that they were willing to come forward, share their stories and raise awareness on this,” she said at the show’s opening on Saturday.
Sarimah Ibrahim, a TV and radio personality who is also WCC’s ambassador for the project, said it was important to look beyond the taboos and address the issue.
“Gender violence is not just sexual, but can also take the form of emotional or financial abuse. And often, it involves children too.
“For 30 years, the WCC has been trying to help people to live. It’s not just about helping survivors, but also preventing others from becoming victims.
“This show is especially meaningful, as those whose stories are told, can all be found within our own environment.
“You’re not just buying a piece of art, but also contributing to awareness and making a change in people’s lives,” she said before conducting a tour and auction of the artworks.
All proceeds from the sale of exhibits will go toward WCC’s work to end violence against women and children.
Among the pieces on show is a drawing titled ‘Squid’ by artist Noor Mahnun Mohamed, which has repetitive patterns representing perseverance in surviving immense emotional and psychological torture.
It conveys the suffering of a victim who was first raped by her stepfather when she was just 10, with the abuse continuing for the next 14 years until she finally put an end to it by speaking out.
Other participating artists are Bibi Chew, Engku Iman, Annabelle Ng, Minstruel Kuik, Tetriana Ahmed Fauzi, Shika, Yoke Tan, Typokaki and Chuah Shu Ruei.
Curator Ong Jo-Lene said the artists all met up with the victims to listen to their stories, before translating them into engaging artworks.
Besides these, there is also a section featuring 10 additional pieces selected from an earlier, open competition for members of the public who had either experienced or witnessed any form of violence.
The exhibition is open for viewing from 10am to 6pm daily, and is held on the first floor.
Available works will continue to be on sale.
For inquiries, call the WCC at 04-2280342 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.