The Vienna conference

In attendance at the Vienna Progessive Connexions Sexual & Gendered Violence conference were mainly women from all over the world. We had gathered for a unique meeting: the first conference of its kind in the world on sexual and physical violence.

A representative from India spoke about the humiliating treatment of women and how legislation is indefinitely stalled.

From the United States: a shocking study on the abuse of mothers revealed the staggering statistics of murdered women and girls.

And a courageous representative from Algeria, presenting a study of social violence on popular pop stars.

Our installation has attracted a great deal of interest by using clothes to convey the terrible stories behind them.

We stood on the sidelines and listened to their tearful responses. Each and every participant of the conference has had a relative,a friend, or a neighbor who has suffered or is suffering from physical and sexual violence, including those who have been murdered by a partner or close relative.

The discussion was lively and emotional, with everyone contributing their help. We heard many phases often repeated: “You have to see it in my country”, “i have to bring it to the European Union”, “It must go the UN”.

Most of all, we were asked what needs to happen in order for this installation to reach every corner of the globe and to inspire those who see to react and take action.

After two exciting and powerful days, all the clothes were silently neatly folded into a suitcase, just as if we were packing normal clothes from a trip to Vienna. In truth, none of the owners of these clothes will ever has the chance to see the city, glimmering with Christmas lights and covered in white snow.