It is often said that an image can allude to an issue without being blatant about it, and See What I See – an exhibition curated by local photo journalist Fifi Monosi is a testament to that premise.
Drawn entirely from an interest to raise awareness on gender-based violence, the collection is in collaboration with the Kagisano Women’s Shelter and speaks to the silence that grips women who are victims of abuse.
“I just realised that a lot of social issues more specially gender-based violence are not given enough media coverage or awareness. When you engage people about it they don’t want to take part in that honest conversation. This exhibition is a platform to spark a conversation that will eventually address this issue,” says Monosi.
Exhibited in the open space of the Main Mall, the collection depicts women in vulnerable states in a manner that mimes their experiences and reflects their reality. The exhibition will be running for 16 days, as a way to highlight the celebrated campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Abuse of Women and Children.
Perhaps the most poignant aspect of the collection is in being a window to the world of abused women. The collection features only women who come across as scarred, but have hopes to one day heal.
“With women as the most prevalent victims of domestic violence, I want to be a voice to the voiceless using what I know best, which is photography. Domestic violence is still a sensitive issue in our cultures. People are prone to comments such as ‘don’t involve yourself in people’s issues’ but this perpetuates the problem,” she explains.
Featured pieces include a woman with her hands held in a defence stance, as well as a woman staring blankly outside, with tears trickling down her face. The photographs are melancholy, gripping and tell the story of the psychological cost of abuse.
The exhibition is currently at the No 1 Ladies Coffee House and will be in display at the African Mall pop on Sunday. The closing ceremony of the exhibition, to be held next week, is sponsored by Botswana European Union under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.