By Malak El Gohary
I chose to create a two dimensional painting that represents a major issue facing our Arab society: domestic abuse.
Many women have been exposed to cruel mistreatment from family members and partners in life. Individuals and especially women who are exposed to domestic violence often experience physical, mental or spiritual traumas that can be worsen if they are not addressed. Furthermore it is common for individuals in an abusive relationship not to recall many aspects of their personalities before being abused, especially if they have been exposed to violence for an extended period of time. Also domestic violence can have a serious impact on the way a person thinks and interacts with the world as domestic violence affects one’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors and can significantly impact one’s mental stability, increased anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms.
Recovery from exposure to domestic violence is possible, and although it requires addressing painful realities, it also entails discovering new inner strengths, a process that needs time, space and safety to begin. However, it is quite known that victims of domestic violence do not always report the incident fearing their partner's reaction, or fearing their reputation be compromised. In other cases, victims do not believe that the government will help, although there are many National Councils for Women and non-governmental organizations that specialize in dealing with violence against women, and can provide victims with the support they need. About 35 percent of women worldwide have faced physical violence from their partners or family members. No woman should ever go through this pain!
About the colors I used:
Colors include red, blue and green, and are used to express feelings, a mix of warm and cool colors. For example, different shades of browns were used on the eyes to create a warm, dark and mysterious feel to them. The red and green above the eyes symbolize rage and envy while colors such as Ultramarine blue and other shades of blue such as Turquoise were used to create a cool effect under the eyes as a symbol of bruising and pain. Furthermore purple was used to create some consistency as purple is considered warm. Finally the butterfly is a vital part of the painting. I chose it as it’s a beautiful creature with wings and wings symbolizes freedom; I placed it on the mouth to symbolize suffocation as speech is the only solution women can use to be freed of domestic abuse.
My name is Malak El Gohary, I’m currently an international relation student at American university of Dubai. I was born and raised in Egypt and moved to Dubai when I was seven. Living in Dubai has helped me accept diversity and people coming from different backgrounds.