"Paste-ups of feminist protests" by Sofia Weidner
A white poster covers one of the boards that form a barrier around the Ángel de la Independencia, a monument on Mexico City’s Avenida Reforma. The hoardings are designed to conceal something that the macho society doesn’t want us to see.
However, the poster reveals the message behind the boards: namely that nine women are murdered in Mexico every day. The artist is Sofia Weidner, who for the past three years has made it her job to make Mexico’s femicides visible through her work.
Her work is characterized by straight and simple lines; long lines that form curves to define female faces or bodies, together with a sentence that prompts some considerable introspection: “Perhaps you feel alone because you have left yourself” recites one of her best-known works. These words are printed above a round face with a forlorn look.
“It really bothered me that the news talked about murder rather than about femicide. I realized that this word is not very well known. I began my career in street art because I wanted to show the public what femicide means”.
For three years Sofía has been pasting her work up all over Mexico. The debate is more topical than ever at present because the feminist movement and its supporters want to change the heteropatriarchal structure in which we live. If something is not mentioned by name, it does not exist. Which is why it is important to look closely each time when we see for example a poster on some wall in Mexico City that cites the following encyclopedia entry:
- m. Hate crime involving the killing of a woman on account of her gender
As painful as it may be, this is the reality in Mexico.
About the artistSofía began her paste-ups three years ago. “I assumed that nobody in Mexico would do it otherwise”, she says. Because she did not want to limit her message to social media, but was keen to reach a wider audience, she decided to paste her illustrations up onto walls, motivated by “the frustration and anger that the femicides are not talked about enough. I wanted to confront the world with something that is a product of this same world”, she explains.
From a feminist perspective, the scenes that Sofía illustrates emphasize the individual and collective calls for greater visibility of women.
Pamela Ballesteros, journalist and cultural mediator
Additional InfoThough Sofía is a textiles designer and illustrator, her desire to disseminate her message pushed her towards street art. The paste-up technique has worked well for her so far, though she has also faced some considerable challenges:
“I cannot paste my work anywhere I want, as it’s not legal. I always try to use walls where nothing will be damaged. Personally, I have considerable respect for old buildings, as I like them a lot. Sometimes I paste on construction boards. I know people who have been picked up by the police, and to be honest I don’t want that to happen to me. I work quickly and am becoming more skilled all the time”, she comments.