Art for Women's Lives

curated by Milhas Pela Vida das Mulheres

Lenora de Barros, Alvos (Targets), 2017
  • This information will be updated.
Art for Women's Lives is an exhibition developed and presented by women of different generations, races, social classes, ages and Brazilian states, who use art as a way of approaching a sensitive and controversial theme, historically present in humanity and in different cultures: abortion. There are 3 curators and 23 artists, who, since 2020, through art, have organized themselves to guide the debate on the urgency of legal abortion in Brazil.

With the country's ultra-conservative political leadership, the anti-gender agenda and a petition against the decriminalization of abortion held in the Supreme Court since 2018, the right over the choices made for the Brazilian woman's own body becomes increasingly threatened. Since 2011, 80% of the bills presented on the topic have sought to increase the criminalization of abortion in the country, and today they are only allowed in cases of risk of death of the pregnant woman, sexual violence or pregnancy of anencephalic fetus. However, even in cases permitted by law, most Brazilian women are unaware of their right to access, or feel threatened to take action whether by domestic circumstances or religious beliefs, amongst other reasons.

In a country where 5.5 million children do not have their father's name on the register and is estimated that about one million abortions are performed annually, of which only about 1,700 are legal, according to the Ministry for Health, and the practice still remains criminalized. In this context, the women who suffer most from the consequences of an unsafe clandestine abortion are of low education, high economic vulnerability, black and indigenous. Due to its status of criminal activity, abortion practices annually take hundreds of Brazilian women to jail.

Faced with this overwhelming and politically charged scenario, Art for Women's Lives aims to be an aesthetic exhibition of an active character, with a public program that pinpoints the sexual and reproductive rights of Brazilian women, from lectures with health professionals and conversations with women curators and artists of distinct ethnicities and backgrounds. In addition to the exhibition at Galeria Aymore, the works of art will be exhibited with information on how to access the right to legal abortion by spreading informative posters around the most vulnerable places in the city of Rio de Janeiro with the intention of removing obscured aura and taking it for public debate.

*The text above was submitted to apexart's 2021-22 International Open Call, and rated by 514 jurors. Any specific artists mentioned are unconfirmed and subject to change.
Milhas Pela Vida das Mulheres is an association that guarantees the access of Brazilian women to legal abortion within Brazil in the cases provided for by law and in neighboring countries in the cases not permitted. Art for Women's Lives is an art project idealized by Gabriela Davies, Juliana Reis, Maíra Marques and Paula Borghi.

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by LMCC, funds from NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.