Enough is enough.
Yesterday I went to Maboneng to see an art exhibition that included thousands of pairs of dirty underwear draped over the streets.
I went mainly because I thought it would be cool to photograph so many pairs of underwear. And it was.
After wandering the streets for a while, I went into SoMa Art + Space, the gallery that is putting on this exhibition in recognition of the the global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. There was a lot more dirty underwear in SoMa, as well as a group of women doing live performances.
I’m not going to try to describe the women’s performances because I know I can’t. I can describe my reaction though: I cried.
I cried for the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of women and girls who are sexually assaulted in South Africa — and the world — every year. I cried for the other women (maybe even some men) around me who were also crying. I cried for my 13-year-old self, who looked in the mirror and hated what she saw. I cried for my 16-year-old self, who did things with boys that she didn’t really want to do but did them anyway because she wanted to be loved. I cried for my 37-year-old self, who experienced emotional abuse and lost a partner to addiction. I cried for a friend who is losing her baby. I cried for my boyfriend who just lost his father — something I’ve wanted to blog about for many days but can’t seem to do because it’s too painful.
I cried as I held my camera to my eye.
When I finished crying I felt exhausted and free.
Go to this exhibition if you can, especially for the live performances. It runs until 4 December. The full schedule and list of artists is here.