By bringing together the scattered elements of Southwestern Asian women, this drawing entitled “Beyond Silence” gives voice to the often forgotten struggles for freedom and equality, and portrays the experience of women in contexts of wars without relegating them to static pages of history where we only remember their status as victims.
Women in this region have long been ostracized for speaking out against discrimination and abuse, and silence has been a condition and consequence of being a woman, a so-called pillar of the feminine. Indeed, one of the most common misconceptions about women and the feminine in Southwestern Asia is that they are “silent”. In that sense, patterns of subjugation were and still are difficult to dismantle because they rely on many women’s forced silence and internalization of their role as victims.
True that not all silences are bad, but there is a silence that can be dangerous and that can have horrific repercussions. It is our job and our duty as educators, artists, activists, etc. to be aware of the damaging force of silence and of the power of voices, to stand up to abuse and injustice, and to recognize the fact that rarely do we get second chances to make up for our silences.
Pamela Chrabieh is a Lebanese-Canadian researcher, visual artist, activist, and expert in creative communications, with extensive 20+ years of multidisciplinary and international experience in university teaching, academic research, art direction, communication, project/program management, training, and content creation in the fields of education, international organizations/NGOs, arts & culture, humanities, and bioethics. Since October 2020, Chrabieh has been Nabad (nabad.art) Program Manager at Dar al-Kalima University, and since August 2021, SPRKL (sprkl.co Cyprus) Communications Manager. pamelachrabiehblog.com