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Black Tears is a research project on the use of art as an instrument for social transformation and concerns women's human rights. It is the collective creation of a work of art consisting of a tapestry of 2 x 14 meters, which has involved the participation of 2245 women from 46 countries.
In fact, "this is one of the social-artistic projects that has involved a greater number of women around the world," - according to Mrs. Ana Teresa Alario Trigueros, PhD of Gender Studies at the University of Valladolid and Art Professor - and one of the first examples of Community Art in Spain.
The aim is both social awareness and fundraising for Proyecto Esperanza (www.proyectoesperanza.org) which combats human trafficking in Spain and for the Amaranta Foundation (www.fundacionamaranta.org), which combats sexual slavery for women and girls in Asia (Siliguri, India).
Trafficking - which is called the slavery of the 21st century - is one of the worst expressions of gender violence.
The tapestry comprises of a central piece (90 x 90 cm) that represents a woman lying down on a bench whose heart has stopped because of grief. The artist attached the canvases, (15 x 15 cm) sewn by different women that have participated in the Project, to the main piece. The result is a unique work of art measuring 2 x 14 meters and divided into 3 parts. Such canvases (Tears) represent the tears poured by the women whose human rights have been violated.
Art is a product of human society. This is the reason why the different components of society have an influence in the genesis and diffusion of art. However, can art be an instrument of social transformation?
Alejandra Corral believes it can and this is why in the last few years the theme of her work has revolved around this aim: stirring people's conscience to contribute to this transformation.
Art as an instrument for social awareness.
Thinking about this issue, she came to the following conclusion. The simple process of creation needs concentration. If she were able to accomplish the creation of a collective work of art with a clear social goal, she would have the full attention of the participant during the entire process of creation (always longer than the observation term). This would offer her the opportunity to have a larger impact on the participant's conscience.
She has always been interested in the world of women, simply because she is part of it. This Project promotes women's human rights. This is why this Project has been executed from a feminine perspective.
- The work of art consists in a tapestry executed mainly with the "petit point" technique, which is considered typically feminine. The use of other techniques was also allowed, such as the cross-stitch.
- Only women could participate in the execution of the tapestry. Any woman could participate, regardless of her age, country of origin, occupation, etc.
Men who wanted to support the Project with their work, have done so as volunteers in the confection of the tapestry (i.e. cutting canvases, sewing the Tears together, etc. ..).
The aim was to obtain as many participants as possible. We wanted to create a tapestry of huge dimensions, with the hope that the synergy of all these women working together for a common cause through the creation of a collective work of art, would result in the social awareness of the severe wound that represents the existence of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. This goal has been largely achieved.
Alejandra Corral (Kuska): authorship, project management and artistic realization
Yolanda Feal: human rights and international humanitarian law
Pablo Boyer: legal advice
Adela Fierro: communication
Ana Isabel Vacas, Claudia Regina Mercado, Guillermo Otero: logistics and organization support
Rober Martín: audiovisual production
|2.245 women participated in its creation|
- Creation by the artist Alejandra Corral (Kuska) of the main piece.
Simultaneously, the equipment needed for the creation of the Tears was distributed to the participants. Once the Tears were finished, the participants had to return the canvases back to the artist.
- Reception of the finished canvases. Then the artist sewed each of the received Tears to the tapestry, around the main piece. To do this the artist relied on a team of around nine volunteers during the final stage
- When approximately 50 finished canvases were received, a video explaining the Project was made and posted on social media for the diffusion of the Project. The goal was that a greater number of women would get to know the Project and participate in it. Participation proceeded as before.
The final delivery date for the equipment was April 12th, 2014.
After the last finished canvas were received, the tapestry was completed. This tapestry will be exhibited together with the registry of participants and the promotional video.
The purpose of the second phase of this project (Exhibition phase), is to increase visibility, for both opportunities and the sale value of the tapestry when sold and to have a greater social impact.
Once the exhibition phase is over, the tapestry will be sold and the proceeds from the sale, will be allocated to Proyecto Esperanza and to Amaranta Foundation.
This work of art has involved approximately 8980 working hours of participating women, not to mention the countless hours spent by the entire team of Black Tears to carry out this splendid Project.
The inhumanity of sexual slavery cannot be ignored. It is in our hands to change things. It only takes a small act from each and every one of us. Together we can make a difference.
"Black Tears" Day: Art and social transformation. Against sexual slavery.
Presentation of the ARTISTIC AND SOLIDARITY PROJECT "BLACK TEARS" and exhibition of the artwork in Spain March 12, 2014 Agora of the María Zambrano's Campus of Segovia from the University of Valladolid Activity included in the official acts (UVA and Municipal Council of Women) scheduled in commemoration of the UN International Day of Women - March 8
09:45 Opening with authorities
Mr. José Vicente Álvarez Bravo, Vice Chancellor of the Uva. María Zambrano's Campus - Segovia
Mr. Agustín García Matilla, Dean of the Faculty of Social, Legal and Communication Sciences of the Uva. María Zambrano's Campus - Segovia
10:15 Presentation of "Black Tears" project
Mrs. Alejandra Corral, authoring, project management and artistic realization
10:30 Lecture: "The art of weaving wills" Mr. José María Parreño. Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts (UCM). Curator, museographer, poet
11:15 Lecture: "The thread and the word in the work of women artists" Mrs. Maria Teresa Alario Trigueros. Dr. Cathedra in Gender Studies at the University of Valladolid. Professor in the Faculty of Education of Palencia (UVA).
12:00 - 12:30 Break
12:30 Lecture: "Trafficking and sexual slavery of women" Mr. Antonio Rivas. Representative of Proyecto Esperanza that fights trafficking of women in Spanish territory, and Amaranta Foundation, which fights sexual slavery of girls in Siliguri (India)
13:15 Closing and invitation to "Black Tears" sewing workshop ------
18:00 to 20:30. "Black Tears" sewing workshop. Last chance to purchase kits to participate in "Black Tears" project.
Invitation to an appetizer and a drink for participants. "Black Tears" artwork will be exposed in the Agora of the María Zambrano's Campus of the Uva from Monday, March 10th, 2014 to Friday March 14th, 2014.
Black Tears hands (Volunteers in the manufacture of the artwork): Sanaa M'hand El Mouktafi (cutting out canvases), Khadija Mhand El Mouktafi (cutting out canvases), Asmâa Mhand El Mouktafi (cutting out canvases), Paloma Heredia Rey (cutting out canvases), Cami Gomez Marín (cutting out canvases), Danielle Khoyan Tondu (cutting out canvases), Juana Miranda Reyes (sewing canvases together), Guja Gavazzi (sewing canvases together), Severine Fabre (sewing canvases together), Julia Dupuy (sewing canvases together), Nathalie Scalabrini (sewing canvases together), Joanne Hitch (sewing canvases together), Elena Martucci (sewing canvases together), Caroline Friedberg (sewing canvases together), María Blanco-Cobaleda (sewing canvases together), Isolina Garrido Novoa (sewing canvases together), Anissa Tenani (sewing canvases together), Pilar de Andrés Plaza (support in events organization), Carmen de Andrés Álvaro (support in events organization), Clara Herranz de Andrés (support in events organization), Rosa de Andrés Plaza (support in events organization), Trinidad Castillo (completion of the artwork), César de la Fuente (completion of the artwork).
|San Cristobal workshop (Segovia)|
Associations and groups that have collaborated with at least 40 women:
- Neighborhood Association of Pajares de Pedraza (Segovia)
- Neighborhood Association of Peña Blanca (Segovia)
- Women's Association Los Fresnos (Segovia)
- Torrealta Housewives, Consumers and Users Association (Segovia)
|The project Black Tears goes to London|
Black Tears Project was exhibited at London's favourite fair to meet and buy art from the very best emerging and undiscovered artists. It took place at a beautiful new location - Bloomsbury Square's Victoria House.
After receiving 700 applications, TOAF presented 130 artists carefully selected by their expert selection committee: YBA Gavin Turk, the Courtauld's Dr Stephanie Buck and Mary Rozell, Director of Art Business at Sotheby's Institute New York.
Celebrated for its unique visitor experience, The Other Art Fair's eighth edition didn't disappoint, with visits from guest artist YBA Gavin Turk, a brand new project space featuring Mark Powell, a Fever Tree G&T installation bar and craft beers from Meantime Brewery Company.
|Fundaçao Inatel (Évora, Portugal)|
Black Tears project was exhibited at the Inatel Foundation of Évora (Portugal), on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Lar Santa Helena and its fight against gender violence.
Besides lectures on gender violence and human trafficking, other activities around the celebration took place: a fantastic hat making workshop, a hat dance, a night march against gender violence, a puppet theater for children, among many others.
|Tabacalera (Madrid, Spain)|
On November 25th (2015), International Day Against Gender Violence, Promoción del Arte presented Black Tears in Tabacalera. A project conceived by the artist Alejandra Corral (Kuska), which emerged as a research on the use of art as an instrument for social transformation. In this case, it focused on the fight against human trafficking, the so called slavery of the XXI century, one of the worst expressions of gender violence.
What could be seen exhibited at the Estudios space of Tabacalera, from November 25th to December 8th, 2015, was a huge tapestry of 2 x 14 meters This artwork is the result from a collective creation, which involved the participation of 2,245 women from 46 countries.
Black Tears is one of the socio-artistic projects that has involved a greater number of women around the world, as well as being one of the first examples of Community Art in Spain.
The same day of the opening, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports organized a conference about art and social consciousness at the Sala de Ideas of Tabacalera, in which participated:
- Begoña Torres. Deputy Managing Director for the Promotion of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.
- Alejandra Corral. Author, artistic director and manager of the project.
- José María Parreño. Art Professor (UCM). Curator, museologist and poet.
- Agustín García Matilla. Dean Faculty of Social, Legal and Communication Sciences of the UVA. Campus María Zambrano - Segovia.
- Ana Almarza. Representative of Proyecto Esperanza, that fights human trafficking of women in Spanish territory, and Amaranta Foundation, that fights sexual slavery of girls in Siliguri (India).