Deborah-Koenker-Visual-Artist-Vancouver_Ni-una-Mas

¡Ni Una Mas! / Not One More!  

2007


The exhibition title Ni Una Mas!/Not One More! is borrowed from a social justice movement established in 2002 that has attracted international attention to the violence that has claimed the lives of hundreds of women and girls in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua for more than a decade; 
victims are primarily workers in the maquilladoras/factories that line the Mexican side of the border as a result of the NAFTA agreement. 
 
These asesinatos/murders and “desaparecidas/disappearances”, executed with impunity, are symptomatic of an epidemic of violence against women globally. Amnesty International has cited violence against women as the number one human rights violation in the world.   Workers globally who labour to produce goods cannot afford to consume the products they make, and the craft of the hand is undervalued and disappearing in the mechanized, consumer-centric global economy.   

The use of eyes as a motif in this work draws on the specifically Mexican tradition of Milagros, the small metal charms placed, along with prayers, in Mexican churches.  Each pair of eyes is taken from an actual victim’s photograph, collected in collaboration with border activists. Through the audio recording each victim is named as an individual, set apart from the statistic. My intention is to promote awareness of the Ciudad Juarez murders and to provoke discussion on violence in various contexts.
 
The following testimonial conveys the reality of life and death in Ciudad Juarez:

“The greatest pain is to survive your children.  Claudia Ivette, my daughter, left for work at the
factory; she arrived 3 minutes late, and they wouldn’t let her enter;  they sent her away without
asking if she had money for the bus.  When she didn’t come home, I thought she was working
overtime.  They found my daughter dead in the month of November, together with seven other
women—thrown out in the street, unrecognizable, but they told me she was my daughter.”

Josefina González, mother of Claudia Ivette González--disappeared October 10, 2001.

Deborah-Koenker-Visual-Artist-Vancouver_Ni-Una-Mas