“Voices of Violence” is a project that tells the stories and experiences of women living in Denmark, Iceland, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who have been exposed to sexual violence, sexism and gendered harassment. The video exhibition is showcased as part of the Scanorama film festival.
The Exhibition will be displayed from 4th of November until 17th of November at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, 3 floor atrium and will be opened with a discussion between Danish and Lithuanian activists, writers and gender equality experts on the 5th of November. At the opening discussion, Danish feminist activist and gender policy consultant Emma Holten, the Lithuanian researcher Dr. Vilana Pilinkaite Sotirovic, who does advocacy work on issues of gender equality, prevention and protection of gender-based violence and the Lithuanian writer and education expert Unė Kaunaitė as well as others will reflect on the complex interplay between art, female perspectives and women’s role in society.
The Nordic and Baltic countries as well as Belarus face many of the same issues when it comes to gender equality, sexism and gendered violence, and no matter where one lives, gendered violence is, undeniably, a common social phenomenon. According to the UN database, every fourth woman living in Lithuania has experienced gendered violence sometime during her life. The transnational nature of the problem engenders the need to tackle these issues together by sharing knowledge and experiences. The exhibition will facilitate reflection, discussion and dialogue on a prevailing and problematic culture of gender inequality and gendered harassment. It also aims to provide a space where the frightening reality of many women can be voiced and made audible, because listening and understanding is the first step towards action and change.
Portrayed in 35 short videos, which makes the core of the exhibition, the anonymous stories on gendered violence told by well-known Danish, Icelandic, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Belarusian actresses uncover the marks that these experiences have left on women across borders. Among them are Lithuanian actresses Renata Kutinaitė, Teklė Baroti, Elena Ozarinskaitė, Eglė Špokaitė and Greta Dirmauskaitė. All stories have been collected in close cooperation with women’s centres in each country and are anonymous.
Voices of Violence will travel through the Baltics and Belarus, being a part of recognized film festivals, including Scanorama film festival. After Vilnius the exhibition will travel to Tallinn (22.11. – 3.12) as part of the Black Night stars film festival, and from 8.12. – 21.12 it can be seen in Riga. Simultaneously, an online exhibition will be accessible starting from the 9th of November, as follow up to the Northern Lights film festival (Belarus), displayed on the homepage dki.lv/voicesofviolence.
Each exhibition will be opened by a discussion with Nordic and local artists, activists and other experts, working with this important topic. At the opening discussion in Vilnius on the 5th of November, Danish feminist activist and gender policy consultant Emma Holten, the Lithuanian researcher Dr. Vilana Pilinkaite Sotirovic, who does advocacy work on issues of gender equality, prevention and protection of gender-based violence and the Lithuanian writer and education expert Unė Kaunaitė as well as others will reflect on the complex interplay between art, female perspectives and women’s role in society. All events will be streamed online on the Danish Cultural Institute’s Facebook page, made available for viewers across borders.
The project is organized by the Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Lithuania, Scanorama Film festival, MARTA center, Womans Issues Information Center, Feministeerium, Kvennaathvarf, Metafilm, Latvian Academy of Culture, WIFT Iceland, ProRent, Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania as well with help of the Embassy of Denmark in Lithuania and the Embassy of Denmark in Estonia and support of the Agency for Culture and Palaces (SLKS).