I have created these 8 portraits as part of In the face of Brutalism, a creative awareness project created by MenAsWell, the first and only Dutch non-profit working against sexual violence against men, trans and non-binary people in The Netherlands.
The theme of the project was created with inspiration from Yugoslavian brutalism. The project features photographs of 8 men taken in front of 8 brutalist buildings located in the Netherlands. Each photograph is accompanied by poetic verses as well as the illustrated portraits I have created in the form of postage stamps. Structures of these buildings act as representative of the strength of the LGBTQIA+ community. Yet, the brutalist aspect reflects sexual violence within the community.
Backed by Pride Amsterdam and Fonds SlachtofferHulp, In the Face of Brutalism will be exhibited at 3 separate locations throughout Amsterdam between June 2023 - August 2023.
About In the Face of Brutalism
Brutalism in Yugoslavia was designed to convey a strength, stability, and social progress. The buildings are built on a grand scale, often with masses of concrete, with an intimidating effect. In the face of Brutalism conveys the strength of overcoming the experience of sexual violence, against stigma, shame, and a lack of support.
In these postage stamps, representing the communication of the experience, I've recreated the figures of each men, seen as jumping over the structures, overcoming the experience in a powerful and energetic way.
Poetry by Shaeif Bunsee harrowingly shares the experience itself, in a body that takes back power from the abuser and creates a community inclusive of survivors.
For MenAsWell’s pride street campaign, the slogan Pride. Consent. Freedom. was born to powerfully yet softly proclaim: without consent, we have no freedom.