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Domestic Violence is more than Just a Black Eye

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Senior Fellows Lejla Hodžić and Elma Cavcic were inspired to combat the persistent avoidance of the issue of domestic violence in Bosnian society, which has wide repercussions on the education system, understanding gender and gender identity and other rights that are denied to women. They were also inspired by the fact that this topic is taboo and rarely spoken about, as it is considered a private or family issue.

This encouraged them to create their Action Project, Domestic Violence is more than Just a Black Eye, which addressed the issue of domestic violence against women and all the consequences that impact them and, by extension, other members of society.

The project gathered young artists across Bosnia-Herzegovina and invited them to express themselves on the issue of domestic violence against women. The final goal was to organize an exhibition of different artworks which would be followed by a discussion on the issue of domestic violence.

They were inspired by the fact that domestic violence is taboo and rarely spoken about, as it is considered a private or family issue.

They wanted to show that domestic violence affects each of us, regardless of whether we were victims of it or not.

In their project, Lejla and Elma wanted to show how art can be used as a subtle mechanism for raising awareness about such a serious and sensitive issue as domestic violence. The Action Project took on multiple phases. During the first phase, Lejla and Elma gathered young, motivated and dedicated artists, poets, writers and painters from Bosnia and asked them to express their thoughts on the issue of domestic violence and other human rights abuses through art.

The idea was to use art as a powerful form of expression to point out the gravity of these issues and the repercussions they carry for every individual in society.

Their Action Project aims to connect art with civil rights abuses, such as domestic violence against women.

During this phase, they shared their thoughts with artists and tried to assist them on placing this burdensome topic in the form of art. Organizers and participants of School of Feminism Žarana Papić wrote and published a publication “Feministička čitanja društvenih fenomena” (Feminist readings of the social phenomena) the promotion of which was held in Tuzla. During the promotion, Lejla and Elma organized a small art exhibition of the art work of the young artists. The exhibition included numerous paintings, digital sculpture, poetry, prose and drawings.