In the ongoing fight for recognition, women silenced by violence are finally being heard. With her exhibit Blink, artist and activist Sarah Honan is giving a voice to the voiceless: 18 female, unidentified victims of fatal crimes.
The exhibit features paintings of autopsy photos taken of the women, as well as vital stats about their life and death, with the goal of drawing attention to the global issue of femicide (murder based on female gender). The United Nations estimates that up to 70% of women experience gender-based violence at least once in their lifetime from an intimate partner—and more often than not, these incidents go unreported. Through her work, Honan seeks to make a difference for the women who never got the chance to speak out against their attackers.
"Difference doesn't mean inequality and so we should remember the women of Blink and all the other Jane Does throughout history as women whose identity and potential has been lost," Honan said in an interview with the Women News Network. "For their sakes, as well as our own and our children's, we should embrace everything it is to be a woman and value our gender difference as a badge of honor rather than succumbing to societal pressure."
By exposing the brutality women face, the exhibit aims to foster a dialogue and incite social change. That change, sadly, is nothing short of critical.