OD Photo Prize 2022 | Shortlisted Artist
Heiner L. Beisert (b. 1999, Crivitz) is a German visual artist, commissioned photojournalist and fine art photographer.
“While I was walking alone in a long street, a man in his fifties started following me with his car for a long period and making hand gestures for me to get into the car with him. I was afraid so I crossed to the other side of the road, so he went around with his car and continued to follow me saying “come in and I will satisfy you and give you what you want”. In fear of him getting close to me, I tried to walk away from the car and deeper into the pavement”
“Sexual violence is a pervasive universal problem. It is a widespread and serious problem in Egypt: the country has the second-highest figures in the world after Afghanistan. According to a 2013 United Nations study, “virtually all Egyptian women have been victims of sexual harassment,” with 99.3 percent of the women surveyed in the study having been sexually harassed. According to the same study, 82.6 percent of the total female respondents did not feel safe or secure in the street. The simple act of standing in the street can expose women to harassment and abuse of all kinds. Although Egypt has had its “Me Too” moments, its effects have been transient. I have been verbally and sexually harassed in the streets, at home, and at work in Cairo, and I am enraged by the prevalence and normalization of the problem, and this had led me to create this work. In this project, I am protesting in solidarity with other women against sexual violence. One of the underlying problems that prevent women from speaking up and reporting assault is victim-blaming and shaming. This response can cause ongoing and deep-rooted trauma. I want to spotlight the issue and fight the stigma around reporting assault. I think we need to ask ourselves whether well-meaning men are part of the problem. Do they contribute to it, or can they be counted on as allies in this struggle against sexual violence? This chapter of the project centers around Egyptian women’s stories of sexual violence in different public and private spaces in Cairo. ” – Lina Geoushy, 2022
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