‘War on Women’ -Nicole Junkin

“To the man who made me think that saying ‘no’ meant consequences. The man who made me grow up far too fast at 13- I am so much more than just your victim.”

My project ‘War on Women’ explores how we can challenge the stigma against cases of sexual assault through visual advocacy and how we can spread awareness through the truth.

The #MeToo campaign has brought incredible and harrowing clarity to the scale of sexual assault as well as providing a platform for all to share their experiences. The response to this campaign was widespread; however, this made me question how many of these cases had actually been reported compared to how many of these women were left to pick up the pieces of a crime that had gone unheard of.

I questioned why as women we are silenced. Michelle Obama’s words struck a chord with me; “all of us are doing what women have always done: Trying to pretend like this doesn’t really bother us. Maybe because we think that admitting how much it hurts makes us as women look weak. Maybe we’ve grown accustomed to swallowing these emotions because we’ve seen that people often won’t take our word over his.” In this speech, Michelle discussed Trump, a powerful individual, boasting about having groped women during the election campaign. Trump’s degrading, lewd language used to describe his predatory behaviour as a powerful individual left me with a sour feeling in my stomach.

This project is about taking power and control back into the hands of victims and giving their voices another platform from which to be heard.  A lot of my research has been based on interviews with victims of assault and harassment. Their stories, while difficult to hear- were incredibly powerful and I am so grateful that these women were comfortable enough to share such personal and distressing events.

A small number of hand stitched zines containing photography and quotes from these interviews will be available to buy for £4, with half of the proceeds going to Girls Against and the other half going to Rape Crisis Scotland. In making these, I hope to spread the word and let it be known that ‘enough is enough’. Our bodies are not a hotel room for your quick getaway. We will not be silenced.

Art and words by Nicole Junkin.

You can follow Nicole on Instagram here and send her a message if you want to buy one of her Zines. Girls Against would like to thank Nicole for donating some of the proceeds to our campaign and we hope to put this money towards creating some new merchandise. We’d also like to thank Nicole for using her art and her voice to raise awareness of the issues of sexual harassment and assault!

Women Of Modern Rock- Edith Gervin

http://girlsagainst.org.uk/2018/02/12/women-of-modern-rock-edith-gervin/

As the title suggests, this is a little piece I did that showcases the women of modern rock. These are just a small percentage of the women that are here to inspire the current and next generation of artists, musicians, fashion-bloggers and any person that loves music. Featuring Ellie Roswell of Wolf Alice, Alana Haim Of Haim, Dua Lipa and Becky Blomfield Of Milk Teeth” – Edith Gervin

‘Untitled’- Megan Thundercliffe

“My piece is about the injustice of rape culture, and how many women suffer alone and in silence when it comes to sexual abuse.The whole point of the piece was to get across the frustration and isolation victims feel towards audiences, as there’s such a passive aggressive stigma that surrounds it, and it is a subject that people don’t really want to discuss.
   I decided to write a post about my ideas, and asked if anyone who was a victim of sexual assault to get in touch if they were comfortable. Surprisingly, a lot of young women got in touch.
    Every woman’s story was different, some were young girls, some were involved in gangs, some were in relationships and some were also abused, but the one thing they all shared  is how they had all felt extremely alone in this conversation.
    I wanted to get their anger across to those who may not understand, so I realised it was best to look at and explore with language. It started with re-writing out the conversations I had with the victims, making some words bigger, some words in different colours, some words scribbled out, some words removed. I decided to focus on the words that became more striking and shocking, such as “rape, child, gang, abuse, alone” etc. This was to have more impact on viewers, and create this overwhelming montage of words that victims feel all at once, constantly.
   I eventually started making my pieces smaller and smaller, until they were post card size. I wanted the piece to be more intimate, and wanted viewers to have to look for what it meant and figure it out, as it’s not such a simple subject or a black and white one.” – Megan Thundercliffe