ART PROJECT GIVES A VOICE
Deborah Archetti I Winterthurer Zeitung I Switzerland I 12 November 2020
Franziska Greber uses art to combat all kinds of violence
An installation against discrimination and violence is currently in the Winterthur Superblock. The work «HOME» comes from the artist Franziska Greber, who has been dedicating for women’s and human rights for over 30 years.
Franziska Greber has had a professional relationship with Winterthur since the 1990s. The Zurich artist and psychotherapist and was Co-Head of the Intervention Center against Domestic Violence of the Canton of Zurich. For the current exhibition in the Superblock as part of the 30th anniversary of the Beratungsstelle Frauen-Nottelefon, she conceived an installation called “HOME – when HOME gets thrown out of balance”.
“The installation is a huge tilted steel bed with a chaotic interior,” explains the artist. In this context, “HOME” means not only the domestic place, but also homeland: “War, terror and violence force people to leave their place and their home. But many women and children are controlled, disempowered and devalued even in more peaceful times,” she explains. If HOME gets thrown out of balance, women and their children are existentially threatened – especially if they choose the path of freedom. Greber would like to challenge the visitors of her work of art to face this content.
Make injustice visible
Her many years of psychotherapeutic work gave Greber insight into many dramatic violent relationships. Because of her professional secrecy, she always had to keep these stories in her soul: “As an artist, I have the chance to step outside and give injustice a face, a visible form and an emotional space.” Silence is not an option for the Zurich resident, even if the world is currently standing still a bit: “With the content that concerns me, many and different strategies are needed. Above all, I trust the discussion. ”
WOMEN IN THE DARK
An important finding of her engagement is that cooperation is a crucial prerequisite for working against violence on women. A central moment for the connection of women’s rights with art was her meeting with her first project partner in Zimbabwe. In 2016 Greber started the art project WOMEN IN THE DARK with her. This resulted in an international art project in which women, in collaboration with local organizations, write their experiences, pain, hopes and demands on white shirts with red markers: «The writing of the women flows into the artistic process, the unheard messages receive in the various Installations of clothes, texts, photos and videos a voice», says the artist.
WOMEN IN THE DARK is a constantly growing art project, backed by a non-profit association that is dependent on donations and funding. Over 500 organizations and 2000 women from India, China, Zimbabwe, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Chile, Germany and Switzerland have so far participated in the project. In the future, Franziska Greber would like to see equality and protection from harassment and violence of women in all societies, but especially for women who live in the dark of society.
“HOME – when HOME gets thrown out of balance”
Franziska Greber is a Swiss artist and psychotherapist who dealt with discrimination and violence against women over many years. In 2016 she initiated the international art project WOMEN IN THE DARK.