March 8th is International Women’s Day – a day when we recognize women’s rights, issues and achievements. Many people choose to shine a light on our still ever present struggle with violence against women on this day – because it is still such a threat to women everywhere. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Imagine that; sitting around a table on a night out with three of your friends, one of you has probably been a victim. These statistics are infuriating, horrifying and unacceptable.
Artist aleXsandro Palombo‘s new body of work portrays the most iconic cartoon characters in scenes of domestic violence. Considering 85% of domestic violence is perpetrated against women, the illustrations make a point. For me, they are effective for two reasons; one – it’s hard to look at what are usual “charming” and “beloved” characters in scenes like these. I think this makes a nuanced point about how isolating domestic violence can be, when those around you don’t recognize your abuser as someone who could possibly have those traits.
Two, he uses Wonder Woman, which makes a strong point that there is no real “profile” when it comes to victims of domestic violence. It can happen to any of us.
It’s undoubtedly disturbing to look at beloved characters in situations like these – especially fairy tale princesses and superheros. But the images are jarring and will definitely get people thinking about the plague that is domestic violence.