WATCH | Art, film and the law: SA's young women making strides in fighting GBV

09 August 2020 - 08:00 By TimesLIVE
Art and film are being used by women to help fight the scourge of gender-based violence in SA and increase women’s voices in the mainstream media.
Art and film are being used by women to help fight the scourge of gender-based violence in SA and increase women’s voices in the mainstream media.
Image: Sunday Times/Esa Alexander

As the years pass, the idea of what it means to be a woman is evolving. While previous generations have walked so that women today can run, arguably the most important thing that defines a woman today is being whoever and whatever she wants to be.

These women are making their mark by helping to fight the scourge of gender-based violence in SA and increase women’s voices in the mainstream media.

Sara Chitambo is an international award-winning film director and digital entrepreneur who says advocating for women’s rights and telling stories is an extension of who she is. By virtue of being born a black woman, Sara says it is her duty to help increase awareness about black women who are sidelined and discriminated against, not only in the film and television industry, but society in general. Sara’s work centres on women and the youth.

The two co-founders of The Embrace Project, LeeAnne Burger, who is an illustrator, and Lee-Ann Germanos, a lawyer, combined their backgrounds in design and law to launch an online platform that sells local artworks and designs. The proceeds of their sales go to grass roots organisations fighting gender-based violence on the ground. The pair started their organisation in light of the rise in gender-based violence since the start of the national lockdown. The Embrace Project is also involved in pushing for legislative changes to protect victims of gender-based violence.

Combining advocacy and art, The Embrace Project was founded during the nationwide lockdown as a response to the increasing cases of gender-based violence being reported in South Africa. Co-founders Leanne Berger and Lee-Ann Germanos launched an online platform that sells local artworks and designs in an effort to raise funds to combat GBV and spark dialogue.

24-year-old game design student at the University of Witwatersrand, Katie De Bruyn, founded her passion project Hardcore Ceramics, which sells mugs with unique designs, in 2018. After nationwide protests in September 2019 following Uyinene Mrwetyana’s murder, Katie created a design in response to the “men are trash” hashtag and dialogue on Twitter. She has since been selling mugs to raise awareness on issues around gender-based violence in SA and donating the proceeds to the Frida Hartley shelter for homeless women in Johannesburg.

TimesLIVE


X