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Art show to fight street harassment
Through art, community members will be able to see how women really feel about street harassment.
The art show, put on by Hollaback, opens at 9 p.m. Thursday at Casa Nueva, 6 W. State St., following the Take Back The Night March. The show will also feature a variety of performances, including poetry read by the F-Word Performers and music by Raggamuffin and The Fury.
Hollaback is an international movement to end street harassment — a form of sexual harassment that occurs in public spaces. This harassment can range from shouting lewd comments to unwanted physical contact. Through documenting and sharing incidents, the group aims to end the silence of street harassment of women and members of the LGBT community.
“In the past, I thought (street harassment) was something scary and weird that just happened to me,” said Devin Aeh, a site leader for Hollaback. “I didn’t realize it was something that happened everyday to women.”
The Appalachian branch of Hollaback formed in April 2013. They organize a variety of programs for the Athens area, including self-defense classes and an after school programs.
Through the group’s website, users can submit their personal stories of harassment and find support from others. By sharing their stories, a dot is placed on a map to show where the incidents have happened in Athens.
The goal of the art show is to depict experiences of harassment and a vision of safer streets in the future. Some pieces were made by Hollaback leaders, some were done with women at the regional jail and others were done in their after school program called Girl Power. There will also be submissions from community members.
There will also be a variety of pieces using depictions of cats for their “Bobcats Against Catcalls” campaign.
The group decided to do this show because it seemed fitting for Athens.
“A lot of Hollaback’s mode of operation is Internet activism,” said Sarah Fick, a site leader for Hollaback. “Since we’re in such a rural area, we try to do as much in-person activism as we can.”
Pieces will be on display for the month of April, with the art show kickoff ending International Anti-Street Harassment Week.
“It is an issue that affects almost every woman,” said Aeh. “I wish I had known about it when I was younger, and I hope to get the message out to others.”
If You Go
What: Hollaback Art Show opening
When: 9 p.m., Thursday
Where: Casa Nueva, 6 W. State St.