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Giving a voice to those who need it most

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Through art, one has the opportunity to express emotion and reflect on past experiences. Whether it is of a happy or tragic moment, art often reflects artists' experiences. An example of this would be abuse, which has inspired the work of many different artists.

Frida Kahlo was born into an unhappy household and suffered from abuse from a young age. Pain is a very common theme in her work. Often, she painted self-portraits, in which she has a distant and inexpressive face. One painting titled The Two Fridas is a direct response to her split with her husband.

The Two Fridas; By Frida Kahlo

However, painting is not the only medium of art that artists use to share their stories to an audience; music is also a great outlet for survivors of abuse. One of the most notable musicians in history, Michael Jackson, experienced physical and verbal abuse from his father as a child and created songs about abuse.

Furthermore, there are many platforms for survivors of abuse to speak out with their voice. Mehreen Hashmi is an art curator and educator from Pakistan, and she founded a non-profit project called ‘Paywasta Reh Shajar Se’. Her project promotes art education for children with a lack of resources and has dealt with child abuse. She has her own story of surviving abuse and uses art as her own outlet. She now wants to help others who have faced abuse with her experience in artistic outlets, which helped her through her darkest days. Hashmi's work is a statement for anyone who goes through abuse.

Art, in so many different shapes and forms, offers a way to tell stories through an individual’s unique and creative perspective. We can see this through many famous painters, musicians, etc. The people who use their voices inspire others to speak up as well and share their stories. Art is a safe community that connects people through their stories and experiences.

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