2016 Annual Juried Competition
Do you know what happened to you?
Every four minutes a woman is victim of violence in Brazil. The past May, 2016, Brazilians were shocked with a collective rape against a 16 year-old girl, which was recorded and loaded up on the internet. My first body of work, “Do you know what happened to you?” is an attempt to raise awareness to the problem of violence, more generally, and, in particular, gender-based violence. For over a year, between 2015 and 2016, I delved into archives about violations of women’s rights and researched on police records of women victims of psychological and physical violence in Brazil.
The work does not aim at telling one story. To the contrary, the viewer will be left with unanswered questions about what actually happened. Often times, this is the feeling that victims of violence themselves have – even during their own ordeal, as if in a negation mode. Am I really undergoing this? Did this really happen to me? – I remember asking when I also found myself in the situation of being a woman victim of violence when traveling along the coast of Brazil, in 2013. The work of investigation of the police adds to the feeling of doubt and uncertainty. Then your memory revisits the episode so many times that you no longer know if what you’re saying is real or not. You simply don’t know anymore what happened and start doubting yourself. It is violence all the way.
I used a variety of formats and employed the photographic tradition of staged scenes combined with pictures of remnants of real crime scenes. The combination of “real” and “staged” pictures is another element that adds confusion. The only certain thing is that whatever happen was not good.
Amena Yassine is a Brazilian photographer of Palestinian origins. She has lived and studied in Brasília, London, the Hague and, currently, New York, where she obtained a degree at the International Center for Photography (2015).
Artist’s website: www.amenayassine.com