Victorias Aladas  2019

Photo series that embodies the four Greek Goddesses at the base of Mexico City´s staple Monument of Independence (Victoria Alada).

Digital photography, paste-up intervention in public space.

On August 16th, 2019 Mexico City´s staple monument, the Victoria Alada or Monument to Independence, was drenched in paint during a protest known as “The Glitter Revolution” demanding a stop to gender violence. The march steamed out from the case of a girl who was allegedly raped by four cops inside a police car. The mass media marked the monument´s intervention as vandalism, when in fact it´s a cry for justice and protection in a country that allows 11 femicides a day, and thousands of rapes along with structural violence that has been burying women and feminized bodies for decades. 

 

As a site for cultural heritage and collective memory, the monument to Independence, a victory column on a roundabout in one of Mexico City´s main avenues, was (re) activated through the intervention. A new layer of socio-historical meaning is now embedded on its surface, highlighting the urgency of the fight for women´s rights. Nonetheless, the morning after the protest the City was shocked, not by gender violence nor the impunity that sustains it, but by the painted monument. In the following days, the government closed down the Victoria Alada, setting up barricades around it, and carried on the preparations for Independence Day celebrations, as usual.

 

As a response to these events, I created the series Victorias Aladas (Winged Victories). It depicts the four Greek goddesses located at the base of the monument: Justice, Law, Peace and War. Each image embodies the most powerful phrases written on the monument during the protest, and is consistent with what each goddess stands for. I photographed the monument during and after the protest and used these images to compose the series. The goddesses’ bodies in my series have the different stone textures and the graffitis of the actual monument in the flesh.

 

Victorias Aladas was created and set up as a photographic paste-up installation in public space short after the Glitter Revolution protest, aiming to underscore the State´s double-standards regarding its defense of the monument over women´s lives. The series also took to the streets the messages written on the monument that now lives behind a barricade. Victorias Aladas asks the question: do women need to be lifeless and petrified for the State to protect us? Feminist movements around the world have been protesting for decades, and these new strategies respond to the ever-rising numbers in femicides, rapes and gender violence. In Mexico, the movement has gained strength and momentum and will continue demanding women´s right to a life without violence. Our silence is not a commodity. 

 

#VivasNosQueremos

 

Paste-up: Documentation of the intervention in public space, Colonia San Rafael, Mexico City, 2019.

© 2020 CERRUCHA