"The Art Of Consent" Exhibit
On September 23, 2021 I had the honor to participate in an exhibition titled "The Art Of Consent".
The exhibit was part of the "Let's Talk About Yes" campaign initiated by Amnesty International and was set up in collaboration with the local Maastricht group and We Care University Maastricht, and was hosted in the Landbouwbelang.
The purpose of the event was to debunk rape culture and emphasize consent culture within the local community. The campaign strives to promote positive sexuality and to further dismantle the mechanisms of rape culture through discussions around consent via various art forms.
The exhibition included artworks, poetry, and interactive pieces, in a space that was curated so as to feel very safe and open.
Hearing the perspectives and appreciating the creations of the other artists involved in the project was such an emotional and touching experience.
The aim of my piece was to address the difference between being sexual and being sexualised. Essentially, the distinction is based on consent: expressing one’s sexuality is a natural, important, and empowering process that is founded in consent and self-determination. On the contrary, being sexualised, is something that people do not do but rather happens to them by others, without their consent. As a result, sexualization does not celebrate sexuality, but instead contributes to rape culture and slut-shaming: rather than sexual beings, people are seen are sexual objects, and unsolicited comments, judgment, and harassment are perceived as justified. This is further exarcebated when mass media and society as a whole, criticise, shame and censor expressions of sexuality or non-sexual consensual depictions of nudity but permit and even capitalise on harassment and non-consensual sexualization.