“We are all citizens of the Republic of Sexual Abuse”.
You may be feeling outraged, anxious or even fearful by this statement, but the real facts remain: women’s rights are the most abused human rights in our country and the rate of sexual violence and rape are among the highest in the world.
“We know all this. What is going to change? Why do we preach to the converted? These are just some of the responses we get, especially around 16 days of activism,” says Jeanette Sera, Counselling Services Manager at POWA, “And yes, this exhibition is to capture the attention of the media: media that are as beleaguered and defeated as you are with all this news, but our focus is on the students (high school and tertiary) that we are inviting in, that we will be hosting, conversing and debating with. Because while the adults are tired, the youth is not.”
POWA has collaborated with Black River FC on this campaign, “We could not watch another 16 days of activism and say or do nothing,” says Executive Creative Director, Roanna Williams, “This exhibition is a creative expression of reality. It is also a space to engage, debate and celebrate – hero the NGOs like POWA who are on the frontline of the RSA every day fighting the war. We want to expose students to the behaviors that have led us here, and then we want to share the NGOs that are doing so much and who need their (our help) to #GetOurCountryBack.”
Entrance is free but the call for donations to POWA will live large via Zapper and Snapscan. “We are also hoping that we can secure sponsors who will allow POWA to take the exhibition on a roadshow to schools across the country and share the work of all NGOs affecting change.”
The RSA exhibition is on at The Zone Rosebank (opposite KFC) from 26 November – 10 Dec from 10 am – 4 pm.
High school and tertiary students will be given priority entrance to the exhibition and there will be counsellors on hand to engage, “This is not a shaming campaign,” says Jeanette Sera, “But it is a necessary one for change.”
“Instead of having celebrities and influencers, it would be lovely to a see student sign up as a spokesperson for RSA,” says Williams, “Anyone who wants to make a change – your voice matters, your opinion matters, it’s your future that is at stake. The youth are our watchdogs and we want to listen to their reactions and their thoughts on this exhibition and to the work of NGOs like POWA.”
The hashtags are #RepublicofSexualAbuse and #GetOurCountryBack