Alex Appella

writer · book artist

#NotOneLess ~ #NiUnaMenos
Artist's Book by Alex Appella in collaboration with the photographer Natalia Roca

 

On June 3, 2015 hundreds of thousands of people in Argentina (where I live) took to the streets to speak out against gender violence.

 

The #NotOneLess initiative began after the corpse of a 14 year old named Chiara was found in her boyfriend’s backyard. She was beaten and buried alive. She was pregnant.

 

This bilingual book explores the contrast between what we live as consumers of traditional gender rolls, and how those rolls are playing themselves out in constant violence. I invite the reader to touch and manipulate the texts, which are extensions of symbolically spilled blood pouring forth from a tunnel of discrepancy: a photo of silhouettes of effigies of murdered women contrasted against the publicity on one of Córdoba's major avenues. At the top of the tunnel a queen dances the contradiction: she falls, she celebrates, she cries out, she smiles, she reveals herself. She bleeds.


Single Copy.
Bilingual.

 

READ THE BOOK · READ THE ARTIST STATEMENT

ARTIST STATEMENT

 

In an unprecedented event, on June 3, 2015 hundreds of thousands of people in Argentina (where I live and raise a family) took to the streets to speak out against gender violence. The march was called #NotOneLess, or #NiUnaMenos in Spanish. In towns and cities all over the entire nation, people of both genders and of all ages marched peacefully in response to the constant wave of femicides. The #NotOneLess initiative began after the corpse of a 14 year old named Chiara was found in her boyfriend’s backyard. She was beaten and buried alive. She was pregnant. What happened to Chiara was not an isolated event. Her demise was yet another in an endless chain of similar happenings.

 

Every 31 hours there is a femicide in Argentina. The sheer magnitude of the murders, in addition to their consistency, was a cultural event I always felt isolated from. Or one I at least tried to isolate myself from. Despite being a woman, I have always believed myself to be immune to gender violence. It was not a part of my childhood home in the United States. It is not a part of my home now as an adult in Argentina.

 

The #NotOneLess march forced me to take into consideration the implicit threat of being a woman, and the responsibility my husband and I have as we raise both a girl and a boy in this society. My daughter is 9 years old. In her lifetime, more than 2,200 femicides have been committed in Argentina. That’s 20 women a month. While Argentina is manifesting the need to address gender violence massively, and this book speaks of my experience here, I am sharply aware that it is a complicated identity issue that affects all societies. The #NotOneLess march also made me realize that I had never explicitly peered into what it means to be a woman and a mother, given the social norms that surround me, no matter where I am.

 

A photographer named Natalia Roca from the city of Córdoba took a photo that I felt summarized the dichotomy of what we ingest about gender rolls in major media, and how that translates into gender violence. The photo was taken the night of the march, with the silhouettes of effigies of murdered women contrasted against the publicity on one of the city's most important avenues. I found the photo's message so precise that it inspired me to make this book.

 

I also identified very much with the idea that--according to major media--everything is OK, there is nothing to worry about...carry on! When, in reality, and even in my own small town, the consequences of what we do not question about gender relations is playing itself out in unthinkable violent acts, time and again.

 

This bilingual book explores the contrast between what we live as consumers of traditional gender rolls, and how those rolls are playing themselves out in constant violence. I invite the reader to touch and manipulate the texts, which are extensions of symbolically spilled blood pouring forth from a tunnel of contradiction: the photo of the effigies on the night of the #NotOneLess march. The queen of the book is our distorted version of gender. At the top of the tunnel she falls, she leans, she celebrates, she cries out, she smiles, she reveals herself. She bleeds.

 

 

#NiUnaMenos • #NotOneLess

Foto: ©Natalia Roca - 3 Junio 2015

Libro Objeto / Artist's Book: ©Alex Appella - 4 June 2015

Córdoba, Argentina

 

© 2019 by Alex Appella  E-MAIL

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