Around the world, performance artists have taken to staging public experiments as an effort to bring to light issues that we have difficulty discussing openly, or to drive home a point about certain topics.
Here in the Philippines, the talk on harassment and abuse are shied-away issues that can wield difference in opinions among people. Local performance artist Nikka Melchor just did a show-stopping exhibition on the University of Santo Tomas campus, where she asked passersby to wrap her around in tape labeled as “FRAGILE” if they have been harassed or abused and were unable to do anything or speak up about it.
The sign beside her says:
“Wrap my body with FRAGILE if you have ever been physically, sexually, or verbally harassed and were not able to do anything about it.”
Jay-em Cuntapay posted this photo on his Facebook page, with the following caption:
This is Nikka Melchor’s performance art. This is her protest. Read the signboard beside her. It’s overwhelming how people with the same issue approached her and wrapped her with the fragile tape; and how Nikka took the courage to express about it in an artistic and meaningful way.
I left the area after 30 minutes because it was hard for me to see her finally speak up and show her vulnerability and issue. We were only talking about this last month, and finally.
It happens to a lot of people- it knows no gender. And we have to do something about it. ????
The results have been astonishing:
Towards the end of the protest, Nikka has been fully covered in tape, highlighting the sheer number of times this form of harassment has happened, yet victims have been unable to talk about this. Yet there is strength in numbers, and this protest has sparked courage among these people to come forward.
You go, Nikka!
What are your thoughts on this? Weigh in in the comments section.