Just is my life
Deborah Ireland 2017
Painted wood and perspex.
The ‘Justice, Inequality and Gender based Violence: Seeking Justice through Sharia Councils in the UK’ talk
Wednesday 6th December 2017
This sculpture has been created in association with ‘The nested study faith groups'. Dr Nadia Aghtaie researches Justice, Inequality & Gender-Based Violence. Her research explores how ‘justice' (in its broader sense) is understood, sought and experienced by victims/survivors of GBV and practitioners.
- Analysis of 1,500 domestic violence and rape cases in police databases, plus Women’s Aid survey data for about 1,400 survivors and women’s domestic abuse services;
- Analysis of interviews with 249 victims/survivors of gender-based violence and 40 key practitioners to elicit experiences and perceptions of ‘justice', using social, ecological model. [i]
The sculpture is a response to domestic violence suffered by two anonymous Muslim women known to and interviewed by the artist. One is living in an abusive marriage feels trapped and isolated, the other woman is divorced and safe, help for her was triggered by a neighbour who witnessed the abuse through a front window Venetian blind.
The black wooden surround represents confinement in an abusive marriage associated macro barriers identified in the research such as religion and Misinterpretation of religion.[ii]
Family culture and tradition act as a barrier for many women needing help. The painted wall of bruised skin and eyes represent the individual's barrier to seeking divorce and reaching out for help. The study group have identified examples of these as; Honour, shame & reputation; did not want to upset the family; lacked confidence; fear of being judged; fear of what is going to happen to children; not conceptualising abuse. The observer can view the sculpture from either openside with the victim trapped in the confines of these barriers. Mirrored slats are intended to challenge privacy, regulation and monitoring. It considers conscience and how we might find pathways of support.
[i] Data; University of Bristol Justice, Inequality & Gender Based Violence, The nested study faith groups, Sharia Council
[ii] Research and data conducted for Bristol University: Dr Hilary Abrahams, Dr Nadia Aghtaie (CI), Dr Lis Bates, Dr Nathan Eisenstadt, Dr Geetanjali Gangoli (CI), Professor Marianne Hester (PI), Dr Andrea Matolcsi, Dr Natasha Mulvihill, Dr William Turner (CI), Mary Wakeham, Sarah-Jane Walker, Dr Emma Williamson (CI), Cardiff University: Dr Amanda Robinson (CI), University of the West of England (UWE): Dr Rachel Fenton (CI), Duncan McPhee (CI), Professor Philip Rumney (CI), Anneleise Williams, Welsh Women’s Aid: Gwendolyn Sterk, Women’s Aid: Lizzie Magnusson