Titled 'Just Because I Am A Woman,' the series highlights an issue that almost every woman on Earth is unfortunately familiar with: gender-based violence.
Trigger Warning: Includes images depicting domestic violence.
Some of the most recognizable faces in world politics today play muse to Alexsandro Palombo—a contemporary Pop artist and activist—in his latest thought-provoking series. Titled Just Because I Am A Woman, the series highlights an issue that almost every woman on Earth is unfortunately familiar with: gender violence. Depicting some of the most famous women in world politics as victims of domestic violence, the 46-year-old highlights the disturbing reality that no woman is immune to gender-based violence in today's society.
In a statement provided to Upworthy by Palombo's media relations manager, Vanessa Esteban, the artist explained why he chose public figures of the likes of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Angela Merkel, Brigitte Macron, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Sonia Gandhi as the subject of this jarring series. "I chose these women because they represent accomplished and committed women, a point of arrival and they are symbolic in the fight for gender equality. I used political figures because it is an issue that must be taken seriously by the political world and therefore my invitation to these powerful women to unite and act," he said.
"The violent and sexist attacks that many women in politics have undergone over the years, as recently the French first lady Brigitte Macron attacked by the Brazilian President Bolsonaro, and also Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, highlight the strong sexism and male chauvinism that still exists in world politics. These are serious facts that continue to repeat themselves with many other women in politics. We must fight this sexist culture and I have always done so through my social art. Politics and institutions have the task of tracing a path and setting an example. But instead, these events end up authorizing violence and destroying all efforts made to fight violence against women," Palombo stated.
Palombo—who is famous for his satirical, colorful, reflective, and irreverent works that focus on Pop culture, society, diversity, ethics, and human rights—continued, "This repeated violence involving female members of politics shows that there is no safe place free from gender violence and deserves deep reflection from all of us because we are still very far from resolving this issue and far from gender equality. Violence against women is a real war that kills tens of thousands of women around the world every year. It is a crime against humanity, a violation of human rights in the public and private spheres that affects all women just because they are women. As of today, the government's responses are still insufficient."
"To counter this pandemic, politics must become an example and respond more forcefully through laws that guarantee fast and efficient justice, while continuing to invest in education and gender equality in the long term. Because it is a global problem of great impact that creates not only social but also economic problems, if you fight sexism and achieve gender equality then there will also be benefits on the economy as more women are independent economically and, more socially, cultural life of society goes up," Palombo concluded.
By depicting women leaders vulnerable and defenseless—deprived of their position of power—in the Just Because I Am A Woman series, Palombo hopes to raise awareness about gender violence and urge governments to take incisive action against the same. The artist has exhibited the thought-provoking series across the world including the "Violated Bodies" exhibition at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, New York, the Art Gallery "Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery & President's Gallery" exhibition, "Break the Silence" by Alexsandro Palombo the exhibition against domestic violence at SUNY—The State University of New York, "Marge Simpson by Alexsandro Palombo" at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Paris, and the "Life Is Not A Fairy Tale” solo show in the gallery of the Baltyk skyscraper in Poznan.
Check out some more of Palombo's works from this series that also features a number of notable women in pop culture and famous cartoon characters as victims of domestic violence: