CONTEXT

Women are an important pillar in a society. But they often lack the access to education, healthcare, employment and basic rights and they experience all sort of gender-based discrimination and violence. Women also suffer, first-hand, the effects of a country’s economic crisis. They are often not asked about their needs. But what is it that women who live in the dark of a society want? What are their experiences, thoughts and feelings?

COLLABORATIONS

Collaboration, participation and discourse are the prerequisites and the basis to be developed, which are lived conceptually up to the exhibitions and sustainability. With the help of the Project Partners, who always are from governmental, supranational or non-governmental organizations, WOMEN IN THE DARK is simultaneously transformed into major information campaigns.

THE ART PROJECT

In 2016, Franziska Greber initiated a 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 art project that addresses the realities of life for women. In close cooperation with regional NGOs 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. Franziska Greber chooses white shirts as an art medium because clothes are laden with social, historical and cultural implications. Clothes may also reflect gender biases.

Since Zimbabwe, the art project 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.

EXHIBITIONS & ACCOMPANYING EVENTS

The artistic installations for which Franziska Greber uses the clothes with the original messages by the women form a central point of attraction.

As it is a constantly growing project, there could be local and national presentations in the participating community or country as well as on an international platform.

The project partners hold accompanying events during the exhibition and WOMEN IN THE DARK is simultaneously transformed into major information campaigns.

In this way, contemporary art can intervene directly in societal critical issues and challenge people’s thinking and acting.

CONCEPT

1. Building up Network and Cooperation

There are one or two defined project partners in each country. Each established collaboration expands the global network of women’s and human rights organizations that work to break the silence of women.

2. Writing Process

The women’s writing process is the responsibility of the project partners on site. Experts who accompany the women, define the appropriate framework and are available for advice. With the consent of the women, the writing process is documented through interviews as well as photos and videos.

3. Exhibition & accompanying events

The writing of the women flows into the artistic process. Franziska Greber orients herself  on the content of the texts and creates installations with the clothes, photos and videos. The project partners hold accompanying events during the exhibition.

4. Sustainability

A lasting impact for women is achieved through
-the making of one’s own life situation public
-the exchange with other women and professionals
-the experience that their voices are heard and taken seriously

A lasting impact of the participating organizations is achieved through
-collaboration with institutions (museums) that reach a different audience and open new doors for the future
-the opportunity to use the women’s texts as a basis for further training and research projects or to justify claims
-the use of media attention for their concerns

A lasting impact in society is achieved through
-the public perception of hidden, repressed or denied issues
-the confrontation with the statements of the women and the encouragement to address the topic