Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/977/26678

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 January 2018

Photography: No Fear

Art can help expose sexual harassment

Amy Cousens describes casual violence in her contribution to the No Fear photoseries, photo by Mary Finch

Amy Cousens describes casual violence in her contribution to the No Fear photoseries, photo by Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Mary Finch, East London Socialist Party

"No one stopped to help me when I walked through the barriers at Leeds train station and a drunk man grabbed and pulled my hair. No one helped me as he then proceeded to shout 'slag' and 'bitch' at me across the station when I managed to free myself."

Every woman has a story like this. Amy Cousens, a friend and fellow Socialist Party member, told me this one. I've been trying to capture those experiences - of the endemic, systematic sexual harassment and assault of women - in a photography project titled No Fear.

Emilie Autumn, a musician poet, and author, writes in her book 'The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls' that in the US a woman is raped approximately every two minutes. A pedestrian is hit by a car in the US every eight minutes.

Theoretically, then, Emilie argues that a woman is safer walking in the middle of the road at night than on the pavement, because you're more likely to be harassed or assaulted than run over.

So I've been photographing women and non-binary people in the middle of the road at night to give expression to their anger, grief, fear and defiance. Everything that capitalist society ignores, and often actively tries to repress.

Not believed

Overwhelmingly, those who come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault are not believed - the result being that most don't come forward at all. But women are breaking the silence, and art has been an essential part of this process.

Jen Brockman displayed 18 outfits in an art installation at the University of Kansas, each a representation of what a survivor had been wearing when they were sexually assaulted. Lying among jeans and shirts, dresses, and pyjamas, is a child's red dress.

Noa Jansma, a 20-year-old student from the Netherlands, spent a month taking selfies with her street harassers and sharing them on Instagram.

One of the most disturbing things about the project is the reactions of the men. None of them refused a photo, which Jansma correctly concluded "shows that these men honestly do not realise they're wrong, they think it's the most normal thing in the world."

I started my project for two reasons. First, I believe that regardless of whether it is political or not, art is one of the most valuable products of humanity. I am a photographer because I want to capture and communicate the beauty and complexity of human consciousness.

Second, I am committed, absolutely, to fighting for women's liberation and for a socialist world. Women's oppression is inherent in capitalism, so full liberation means fighting for socialism.

Art has an important place in that process. But political art - projects like Jansma's, Brockman's, and my own - cannot create the change it seeks without looking outwards, towards workers and struggle.

The capitalists might own the system, but workers run it - and we have the power to overthrow it.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 10 January 2018:


What we think

Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS


International socialist news and analysis

Movement challenges Iranian regime

Sweden: School strike against deportations


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

McDonald's strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

RMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

Amy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

Newham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

UCU members balloting for action on pension cuts


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

2017 was the best fighting fund total this century!

Socialist sales highest in years as mistrust in capitalist media hits record levels

Hoxton: "Stop this unwanted development"

Closure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Art can help expose sexual harassment

Debate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 January 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Art:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: 'Bad Art' - socialist struggle in the arts

triangleSkipton show proves draw of socialist art

triangleBad Art's Leicester event

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

Women:

triangleSocialist Party women's meeting brings together members to share experiences

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: 100 years of voting for women of property

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Women - fighting sexism, violence and capitalism

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

Socialist:

triangleTheatre: 'Young Marx' shows growth in great platform for his ideas

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Is there a global nuclear threat?

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Why Labour and Plaid councils must set no-cuts budgets

Socialist Party:

triangleSouthern Socialist Party conference

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Do Trump's antics make nuclear war more likely?

Dress:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Oppression:

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

17/1/18

Theatre

Theatre: 'Young Marx' shows growth in great platform for his ideas

17/1/18

Isis

Opinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

17/1/18

Carers

Opinion: foster care is work - carers deserve workers' rights

10/1/18

Housing

Debate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?

10/1/18

Art

Art can help expose sexual harassment

10/1/18

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

3/1/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

3/1/18

Work Capability Assessment

Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

13/12/17

The Socialist

The Socialist's 2017 quiz

6/12/17

Fire

The Socialist Inbox

6/12/17

Surrey

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

6/12/17

Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

30/11/17

Theatre

Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

22/11/17

Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears

22/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle18 Jan Waltham Forest Socialist Party: How do we get Corbyn's policies into Waltham Forest council?

triangle18 Jan Southampton Socialist Party: Is there a global nuclear threat?

triangle18 Jan Swansea Socialist Party: Is there a threat of nuclear war?

triangle18 Jan Cardiff East Socialist Party: Building Socialism in Cardiff East

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2