The project investigates representations of gender-based violence (GBV) in graphic art forms in Kathmandu and Pokhara, Nepal. Using interdisciplinary research methods, the research team aims to study how four types of violence – domestic abuse, trafficking, street harassment, menstruation-based discrimination – are portrayed in graphic print publications (comics, zines) and public graphic expressions (murals, graffiti, street art), and how stakeholders (NGOs, activists, artists) use graphic art as an awareness-raising tool.
This project seeks to foster knowledge exchange via local research hubs and result in two creative initiatives with local arts organisations and NGOs: (1) an open-access digital archive of graphic representations of GBV and (2) a series of graphic art workshops for 600 girls (aged 12-17). The project builds on an existing seed-funded collaboration, exploring representations of GBV in murals in Kathmandu, and develops strategies for producing inclusive, effective, and culturally sensitive messaging in GBV awareness campaigns. It aims to empower women and girls and reduce GBV through (1) improving understanding of how aesthetic representations challenge or engender assumptions about violence; (2) facilitating knowledge exchange between academic researchers, government agencies, arts collectives and NGOs about representational practices (aesthetic strategies, cultural history, heritage); (3) raising public awareness; (4) building capacity among local NGOs working on GBV and (5) encouraging girls to participate in the production of anti-GBV materials via creative initiatives.
Principal Investigator: Dr Charlotta Salmi, Queen Mary, University of London