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Abuse mural moves residents to art

September 20 2015 at 12:38pm
By Asanda Sokanyile

Cape Town – A striking mural in Khayelitsha about the abuse of women has had an unusual effect on residents, who say they want more paintings depicting the problems facing their communities.

The intense reaction to the recently painted mural, which includes statistics about abuse, has prompted the foundation behind it to plan similar paintings in other informal areas around Cape Town.

This week Claudia Lopes of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which aims to support civic educational activities, said the mural in Makhaza would be the first of many.

“We are in the process of having more murals painted next year, but we are yet to decide on areas to have them done,” she said.

Following the painting of the mural many residents had requested more be painted to cover more social ills suffered by their community, especially problems experienced by women, Lopes said.

The idea for the painting stemmed from a meeting between residents in the area and representatives of Free Gender, an NGO that campaigns for the rights of gay and lesbian people in Khayelitsha.

At the meeting strategies to address violence against women had been discussed.

This had led to the idea of the mural, which includes the words “domestic violence and rape are not just family problems… in the fight against violence against women it is everyone’s responsibility”.

The project, Lopes said, was aimed at getting residents and civil society to hold the state accountable when it failed to deliver adequate services to abused women.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation said a woman was raped every 26 seconds.

In his State of the Nation Address this year President Jacob Zuma said “brutality and cruelty meted out to defenceless women” had no place in South Africa.

Weekend Argus