16 Days of (Arts) Activism

Forget the partridge and the pear tree, this past weekend saw the end of a quite different countdown: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. This campaign, begun in 1992 by participants of the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute, begins on November 25th, International Day Against Violence Against Women, and ends on International Human Rights Day, December 10th. Activists across the globe join together in a diverse and creative show of solidarity.

Here’s a little peek at how artists took part in this years festivities.

In Australia, a group of social service agencies brought together popular hip hop artists and youth who have experienced homelessness or sexual assault to create music that raises awareness about violence against women. One result of this is a CD, entitled 16 Songs for 16 Days, with 16 tracks from famous artists and one song written and performed by the youth. Graffiti and stencil artists were brought into the project to do publicity and cover art. Copies of the CD are being given out to service agencies. Here’s a little taste:

Listen: 16 Days – Reason FT Miss Karleena & Lotus

In Pakistan, the Nomad Art Gallery, Islamabad, put on a show that included a mime troupe’s performance on the topic of the suppression of women, a poetry reading, and a hip hop performance in a mix of Urdu and English by rap group No Direction. In Afghanistan, big-name singer and music producer Farhad Darya put on a concert to support the effort, speaking passionately about the problem of violence against women to the screams of a thrilled crowd. And the international Take Back the Tech campaign is an innovative call for women to use communications technologies to end gender-based violence: