There is Hope
My name is Gina Vasquez, and I am a fine art photographer based in New York City. I chose to be a part of the FOCUSED initiative because as a woman, this issue is an critical one that hits home. As an artist, it is an honour to have the opportunity to create art as a platform for awareness and change. Everyone has their own way of communicating, and I believe that artists have a special ability to express these thoughts and touch the emotions of others - I hope to be able to add my voice and experience to the fight in ending violence against women in this way.
This was a powerful and emotional photoshoot to do.Through this photo essay entitled There is Hope I wanted to highlight awareness, empowerment, and healing. The first photograph, “1 in 3,” references the statistics that 1 in 3 women and girls worldwide will experience gender-based violence in their lifetime. That is a huge number of people, and with those kind of numbers it is almost certain that we all know a woman who is going through abuse. This issue is so widespread but often not discussed or brought to light. The more we acknowledge that this violence is a real, prevalent problem - both physical or emotional/psychological - and try to help, the more we empower women and begin to make a difference.
It is important to me to not only bring awareness, but to hopefully empower others who have been, or are currently in, situations of violence and abuse. My second photo, “Reclaiming your Voice,” is about finding your voice again in the midst of abuse, and speaking out although others try to silence you. “Breaking the Chains,” the third photograph in the essay, depicts the process of breaking free from physical and emotional bondage. “Release” portrays the healing and
cleansing process, showing that there is freedom to be found once again. The final photograph speaks of hope, illustrated by rays of light and new growth...that while violence against women is ongoing, we are all joining together to raise awareness and take a stand in the hopes that one day, this will no longer be a problem plaguing our world.