Las Desaparecidas de Ciudad Juárez: A Homage to the Missing and Murdered Girls of Juárez

Diane Kahlo’s Las Desaparecidas de Ciudad Jon view at Fleisher beginning September 4

Fleisher Art Memorial will present artist Diane Kahlo’s compelling memorial to the more than 1,000 missing and murdered women of CiudadJuárez, 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, onSeptember 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.

“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. 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, from6:00 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.


The Fleisher Art Memorial was founded by industrialist Samuel S. Fleisher in 1898 and is renowned for its mission of making art accessible to everyone regardless of economic means, background or artistic experience.  Fleisher Art Memorial is one of the nation’s first community-based art centers, providing free and low-cost studio art classes along with opportunities for beginning and seasoned artists to exhibit their work in a professional gallery setting. Fleisher’s arts education programming reaches deeply into local schools and community centers, and has brought the organization national recognition and powerful opportunities to advocate for and shape arts education initiatives throughout the region and the country.

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