March 8 marks International Women’s Day – an annual event with more pertinence than ever.
In the wake of the ongoing media storm surrounding #MeToo, one young artist has created a unique platform for a number of rape survivors from around the world, launching this Thursday, March 8, at London’s OXO Tower Wharf – Bargehouse, Southbank.
The artist, Elisa L. Iannacone, has pulled together an ambitious museum-scale photo exhibition accompanied by a series of live events and a limited-edition book publication. The Spiral of Containment: Rape’s Aftermath, is set across five floors of a raw warehouse space and features photography shot across three continents, illuminating twenty-five individuals’ personal narratives in coping with sexual assault.
Iannacone, who herself makes an appearance in the series, was inspired to create the exhibit through her own experience of coping with trauma through art therapy. She recognises that distressing photojournalistic images of sexual violence often have the adverse effect of turning people away.
By creating work that is not simply representational, she intends to provide viewers with an affective understanding of the lived experience of sexual assault survivors, and to engender an empathic public response.
The conversation sparked by the Women’s March and “Me Too” moment of reckoning is an important step forward, and yet there are still 11 sexual assaults every hour (254 per day) in the UK.
Opening on International Women’s Day, the exhibition intends to incite dialogue around sexual violence, while celebrating the participants’ courage in coming forward to share their story through art.
The Spiral of Containment: Rape’s Aftermath, open daily from 11 am to 9 pm, runs from March 8-11.