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Italian Artist Uses Photos of 'Bruised' Women Leaders, Including Sonia Gandhi, to Highlight Gender Violence

The series includes the faces of Michelle Omaba, Sonia Gandhi, Angela Merkel, Aung San Suu Kyi, Hillary Clinton and Kristen Stewart among others.


Updated:January 16, 2020, 8:39 PM IST
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Italian Artist Uses Photos of 'Bruised' Women Leaders, Including Sonia Gandhi, to Highlight Gender Violence
Image credit: AFP

The battered faces of some of the most famous women - former United States First Lady Michelle Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Congress's Sonia Gandhi among others line the walls of Milan as part of an artists's protest against gender-based violence.

If shock value is what the Italian artist AleXsandro Palombo, the creator of the graphic posters, was going for, the end was achieved. The images of the bloodied and beaten faces of the world leaders and politicians are meant to serve as a reminder of the lack of strong institutional measures to prevent crimes and violence against women.

"I am a victim of domestic abuse. I am paid less. I've experienced genital mutilation. I do not have the right to dress as I want. I can't decide who I'm going to marry. I was raped," reads the message under the bruised faces.

The series, which also features US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Mayanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi, former US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Hollywood actress Kristen Stewart among others, was meant to provoke an institutional response from heads of states and those in charge of changing public opinion and policy.

Palombo intends “to illustrate the drama that affects millions of women throughout the world… with the aim of denouncing, raising awareness and obtaining a real response from institutions and politics,” his press office in a statement.

The contemporary pop artist and activist, 45, is renowned for colourful, reflective and irreverent works and uses satirical art to raise awareness of social and cultural issues.

Among his most important works are “Disabled Disney Princesses” and “The Simpsons Go To Auschwitz”.

He launched the #BriefMessage campaign to mark International Women’s Day, calling on women to denounce violence by writing a message on their underwear and sharing the photograph on social media.

This latest campaign echoes one Palombo ran in 2015, which featured doctored photos of US celebrities such as actors Kirsten Stewart and Angelina Jolie and pop star Madonna.

(With inputs from AFP)

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