artwork
Barbara Hovens
Barbara HovensArtist ·
Æquālis
For this campaign I looked into the lives of several people who have been submitted to inhumane treatment. The woman who represents §5, the Human Rights section covering imprisonment, torture and punishment, is Hout Bophana. Hout Bophana and her husband Ly Sitha got separated shortly after the Cambodian civil war started. Each presumed the other to be dead, but after the victory of the Khmer Rouge they learnt that their other half had survived. By then, Sitha was a soldier for the Khmer Rouge, while Bophana was on the other end of the political spectrum. Sitha and Bophana vowed to meet again and secretly began writing love letters. The Khmer regime does not allow the display of love, besides that for the regime's leaders. The intercepted letters were used as evidence against the couple. Sitha was executed. Bophana perished in Security Prison 21. It was important to me that the presentation of Æquālis did not distract from the story of those displayed, nor should these people's portraits be ornament for my work. For this reason, the layout and colour scheme are neutral, the chosen images are the main focus and the accompanying sections from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights require attention to read and take in. The logo itself creates a void in the portrait, the way a person's disappearance will forever leave an emptiness in other peoples' lives.
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