SHEPARD FAIREY SUPPORTS AMNESTY’S CAMPAIGN FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN IN NICARAGUA
We’re delighted to announce that internationally-acclaimed street artist Shepard Fairey has created a captivating new design exclusively for Amnesty’s 50th anniversary campaign to defend the rights of women and girls in Nicaragua and all over the world.
The campaign, known as La Mariposa (Spanish for ‘butterfly’), encourages supporters around the world to create and send a butterfly to women’s rights groups in Nicaragua as a sign of solidarity with girls and women there who, like girls and women in many other countries, are at risk of sexual violence and are prevented from fully accessing their sexual and reproductive rights.
Shepard Fairey, who shot to fame after he created the iconic Barack Obama HOPE portrait during the 2008 USA presidential elections, has produced this strikingly beautiful and uplifting image of the butterfly. It has been translated into many languages and is being used by Amnesty teams all over the world – both on and offline. There’s some amazing merchandise coming soon too - from tote bags in Spain, posters in Canada, t-shirts in the USA and laptop bags in Australia, watch out for some amazing butterfly accessories!
Behind every beautiful butterfly, there's a serious message. Every year, thousands of young girls and women in Nicaragua are subjected to rape and other forms of sexual violence, often from family members or men who are well known to the family. The rate of this violence is disturbingly high. According to official statistics, more than 14,000 cases were reported between 1998 and 2008. Two thirds of the victims were under the age of 17. These figures are all the more alarming given that in Nicaragua, rape and sexual abuse are under-reported crimes, especially if they include acts of incest.
Women are reluctant to report these crimes for fear of the stigma and shame attached to those who dare to speak of such violence. Regularly such women find themselves ostracised from their families and communities.
The butterfly is regarded by rights activists in Nicaragua as a symbol of the desire for girls and women to realise their dreams, to spread their wings and to fight with strength for their rights.
Shepard Fairey said:
“Human Rights and equality are very important pillars of my philosophy. I am honoured to do what I can to support Amnesty in their continuous efforts. Everyone should live free from fear."
The trauma of sexual violence is exacerbated by the current law in Nicaragua which criminalises all abortions. The outright ban on abortions now compels women and girls – under threat of imprisonment – to continue with their pregnancy after being raped, even if the pregnancy poses a risk to their life or health.
Join Shepard Fairey and thousands of Amnesty supporters around the world by designing your own butterfly too - take action online here: