Two artists have used their talent to take a stand against gender violence, while encouraging men to not stand aside when the world observes 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Photographer Blunt Moya and painter Phethego Kgomo had collaborated to host the #WeAreHuman exhibition at the Old Fire Station in Pretoria on Saturday to mark the end of the campaign.
The exhibition showcased black and white street and studio photography, which highlights underprivileged South Africans and women who were neglected or abused by society.
Kgomo’s artworks questioned why men are at the core of social ills and turn to women abuse.
“We are both young fathers and we wanted to come together to build better legacies for our children and be better men for them,” said Kgomo.
“We are depicting what is happening in South Africa in relation to the 16 days of activism. Regardless of how they are raised, men come out with the same ideology of how to handle women. “#WeAreHuman looks at what happens to the core of the man, for us to be forgotten as beautiful people who are co-creators of life in a family. Instead now, we are seen as just trash. Whether we are abusive or not, we are cut from the same bark.”
Both dressed in black trash bags with #WeAreHuman on the front, Moya said he used his photography to curse society for neglecting men while looking at how men are treated.
“Trash is something that is discarded. If you are calling me trash, then who discarded who? The more a person is told they are nothing, [the more] they end up believing it and no longer care.
That is why we are wearing trash bags. All these social ills are happening because society promotes them.
Society only comes together when something bad happens.”
The pair had collaborated earlier this year in another exhibition that looked at the pain, sufferings, depression and anger of women.
“This will be on ongoing common theme, even moving forward,” Moya said.