Paz para la mujer
2021 | Restoration of Peace for Women @Santurce, P.R.
Photo credit: Kelvin Rodríguez Soto
"Paz para la Mujer" was born on November 25th, 2014, in commemoration of the Violence Against Women Eradication Day. It was a collaboration between Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer (CPM) and Colectivo Moriviví in order to visualize and sensitize around the subject. The visual narrative goes as follows: After a great journey, the monarch butterfly’s migration covers the forest that receives it. Like trees sprouting from the earth’s fertility and filling our world with life, two female figures are to be seen. In their nudity, they seize their freedom and reveal themselves to the judgment of others. Woman: connected and equated with nature.
Originally finished in January 2015, "Paz para la Mujer" became a mural of great significance and importance to Moriviví as artists, but also to the feminist community in Puerto Rico. In that same year, the mural was intervened in an attempt to cover the nudity of the figures. A huge brassiere and some underwear were painted over the images. In reaction to what many understood as an act of censorship, feminists protested in front of the mural. Taking off their tops and posing like the figures in the mural, the women formed a human chain. These events brought forth a much-needed conversation about the control exerted over women's bodies and the different forms violence takes. The story got coverage in all the local news outlets and some online coverage directed to the Latinx community in the U.S.
After that, Colectivo Moriviví did not restore the mural to its original appearance. Instead, the artists re-intervened it. The second figure was restored. Nevertheless, a photo montage of the protests in front of the mural organized in censorship pixels was installed over the chest of the first figure.
After 6 years, signs of fading of the painting were severe. The photo installation was also completely blacked out because of UV exposure. The artists, knowing the cultural and political importance of the mural worked with the support of CPM and FRIDA Young Feminist Fund in an effort to revitalize the mural. This third intervention brought a couple of changes. The mural was mostly revitalized: the background, the butterflies, and the second figure remained faithful to the original design, infused with a fresh layer of color. On the other hand, the first figure carries the evolution of the artwork. Instead of putting on a new installation, the pixilation was painted directly onto the mural with minor changes to the imagery. The other significant change is the incorporation of the names of 2021 feminicides until November 25th, written on the dead butterflies that lay over the figure.
The project took a month to complete. This March 2022, we will be giving a Webinar about this process to reflect on it and share the evolution of this work. Stay tuned to our social media and this webpage for more information!
Photography by Kelvin Rodríguez