The recent acid attacks on women in Isfahan, Iran are nothing short of horrific. Taking place over the last month, there have been at least four attacks, with numerous reports of injuries, and even a death. The mass demonstrations against the attacks on October 22 did little to alleviate matters. In fact, police took it upon themselves to use pepper spray and gas, and outright battered protesters. It is rumored that the attacks were targeting those women who challenge the norms of Islamic dress and follow “bad hijab” practices. The attacks coincided with the passage of a new bill that allows citizens to enforce “morality” laws in Iran, and although acid attacks are rare in the country, they have spread like wildfire in recent weeks. It is a disgusting and inhumane practice and bringing it to the forefront of discussion is crucial.
Unfortunately acid attacks are still the norm in many countries and this is what prompted Israeli artist Andi Arnovitz to take a different approach in raising awareness about this gruesome practice. She spent months producing portraits of different women from different countries and in different dress, and then disfigured them in seconds by throwing nitric acid on them—the same chemical used in these attacks. By disfiguring her work, the artist highlights the “immediate and permanent harm” that occurs in a real acid attack. See some of Arnovitz’s powerful work below.
All images sourced from imaginingequality.imow.org/content/acid.