More than 100 women stripped naked to take part in a flash mob ‘screaming protest’ against gender-based violence in Argentina on Tuesday (30 May).
The women, members of the feminist activist group Fuerza Artística de Choque Comunicativo (Artistic Force of Communicative Shock, or FACC), staged the demonstration outside the president’s palace in Buenos Aires to raise awareness of the problem of femicide in the country.
A beautiful black and white video of the protest, which you can watch below, shows the women standing motionless before a sign reading “Femicidid es Genocidio” (“Femicide is Genocide”) in front of the Palace of Courts in the Plaza de Mayo.
As an all-female orchestra plays, the women slowly and silently remove their clothes, placing them in neat piles on the pavement, before climbing on top of one another to form an unsettling pile of naked female bodies.
They then get to their feet and begin to scream – a primal, furious moment that lasts almost a minute.
The Daily Dot reports that performance piece, the clip of which was produced by Lavaca TV, was designed to draw attention to the plight of women in Argentina, when gender-based violence is on the rise.
There were a record 322 instances of femicide – the killing of a woman or a girl by a man on account of her gender – in 2016, according to the NGO Mujeres de la Matria Latinoamericana. In April this year, Argentinian newspaper La Nacion reported that one woman had been murdered every day that month.
The protest quickly went viral across Latin America.
“There is no metaphor,” wrote Argentinian journalist Facundo Pedrini on Twitter. “There is death. They kill a woman every 25 hours. The state is responsible.”
Activist Claudia Acuña was at the protest, and said that the women involved had been chanting: “I am living in a time in which femicide makes us disposable.”
“We represent them all… and we will always exist,” Acuña tweeted, adding that she had witnessed “older ladies crying because in their time they could not speak aloud of it, men shocked by the cruelty of these times. I’ll take that.”
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#INCREÍBLE MUJERES SE DESNUDARON POR DENUNCIAR EL #FEMICIDIO. La medida fue realizada primero frente a la Plaza de Mayo y luego en los alrededores del Palacio de Tribunales y Congreso. Reclamaron acciones concretas del Estado contra los femicidios. Un grupo de 120 mujeres realizaron este martes una performance itinerante para denunciar los femicidios que siguen creciendo en Argentina. La protesta buscó visibilizar, desde el arte, una realidad brutal y trágica que no se detiene: la violencia machista. Las mujeres se desnudaron primero frente a la Casa Rosada, y luego en Tribunales y el Congreso con la consigna de que el #FemicidioEsGenocidio. Este sábado, 3 de junio, se realizará una nueva marcha del #NiUnaMenos.
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The protest came ahead of the next Ni Una Menos march in Argentina, due to happen Saturday 3 June. An Argentina-wide feminist collective, Ni Una Menos’ name literally translates as ‘Not One Less’: a reference to their belief that male violence should never cause there to be ‘one less’ woman.
The last Ni Una Menos march took place in October 2016, after 16-year-old Lucía Pérez was abducted, drugged, raped and murdered by a group of men. Nicknamed #MiercolesNegro (‘Black Wednesday’) on social media, the demonstration saw thousands of women take to the streets in cities across Argentina to challenge gender-based violence in their own country and across Latin America.
Solidarity protests also took place in Mexico, El Salvador, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
“We have to gather strength and take to the streets,” said Matías Pérez, the brother of Lucía Pérez. “We all have to shout together, more than ever: ‘Not one less.’”
Main image: twitter.com/facu_pedrini