Fleisher to show Diane Kahlo’s Las Desaparecidas de Ciudad Juárez

From September 4 to October 9, 2015, Fleisher will present Diane Kahlo’s compelling memorial to the more than 1,000 missing and murdered women of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. A testament to the epidemic of violence against young women in the city just across the border from El Paso, Texas, that began in 1993 and continues today, Las Desaparecidas de Ciudad Juárez: A Homage to the Missing and Murdered Girls of Juárez includes 150 portraits of the victims.

The exhibition will be on view in Fleisher’s Center for Works on Paper, 705 Christian Street, Philadelphia, September 4 to October 9, 2015. A reception, free and open to the public, on September 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. will feature tours with Kahlo, a performance by folkloric ballet troupe Xochiquetzal, and a screening of the film Señorita Extraviada by Lourdes Portillo.

pink crosses at Kean

“The exhibition pays homage to the victims of a different kind of war, feminicide – the homicide against women simply because they are women. Women and girls continue to be abused, raped, murdered, and kidnapped to be sold into sex and slave trafficking at an alarming rate,” said Kahlo, who addresses her work as a woman, artist and mother. “Although this project is addressing a specific geographic location, it is also meant to provoke a conversation about the crimes against women internationally.”

Kahlo, a distant relative of renowned 20th century painter Frida Kahlo, keeps the memory of these young women alive and the worldwide injustices against females at the forefront of our minds. In the last 15 years, her work has focused on exploitation and violence against women, and populations dis-empowered by sexism, racism, xenophobia, and poverty. Most recently, she has concentrated on topics addressing the U.S./Mexico border, including immigration, worker rights and gender violence.

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Prior to Fleisher, this exhibition has been on view across the country in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, California, and New Jersey.

In addition to the opening, families are invited to help Kahlo create mandalas from recycled materials in a series of free workshops September 14, 15, and 17, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Fleisher. Kahlo will also join Cristina Pérez, director at Casa de los Soles, and Carmen Guerrero, pro-immigrant activist and member of Frente Ayotzinapa USA, for a round table discussion titled Art as Witness – Transforming Violence on Wednesday, September 16, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The discussion is presented as part of Fleisher’s Sanctuary Series, a free, drop-in program held Wednesdays in the historic Sanctuary. The discussion will also include a screening of the Lourdes Portillo film Chimes for Change, which inspired Kahlo’s work in this exhibition.

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