THE ART PROJECT
Women are an important pillar in a society, but women and girls still often lack access to education, health care, work and basic rights.
In 2016, Franziska Greber initiated a non-profit pilot art project in Zimbabwe entitled WOMEN IN THE DARK, which in retrospect has assumed unimagined dimensions to this day. From the very beginning, WOMEN IN THE DARK was a participatory and transdisciplinary art project that addresses the realities of life for women.
In close cooperation with regional NGOs, women and human rights organizations, women are encouraged to write about their experiences, injuries, fear, hopes and demands on female clothing. The women usually write on white shirts with a red permanent marker, in India on dupattas/scarves. Franziska Greber chooses white shirts as an art medium because clothes are laden with societal, historical and cultural implications. Clothes may also reflect gender biases.
WOMEN IN THE DARK describes a societal place that is assigned to women. A place in the dark, often with limited or even no rights. The level of darkness is different in each country, as is the reaction to women trying to speak out, but there are dark places everywhere. WOMEN IN THE DARK contributes the visibility of the life situation of women and initiates individual and societal change processes, referring to gender equality and protection from all forms of harassment, discrimination and violence in all societies.
Since Zimbabwe, WOMEN IN THE DARK has been implemented in the Seychelles, Mauritius, China, India, Switzerland, Chile and Germany.
Eventually, the project is presented in cultural institutions and museums of the respective country that are of national importance, both in group exhibitions and solo shows. The artistic installations for which Franziska Greber uses the female garments with the original messages form a central point of attraction.