The 'Bastard Sisterz' Project

“This exhibition is dedicated to all the girls and women around the world who are forced to suffer threats, humiliation, oppression and violence on a daily basis.” - Henrik Sjöström

Swedish artist Henrik Sjöström’s latest exhibition in Helsinki is titled The Bastard Sisterz. If the name itself hasn’t stopped you dead in your tracks, the images will. Powerful, haunting, accusing, and loud, each artwork refers to a specific event in recent history.

“The chosen images are based on a series of brutal events that have displayed a complete and total collapse of the collective human consciousness and a monumental disrespect towards all notions of femininity. Numerous daughters, sisters, and mothers would still be alive today had it not been for the despicable and systematic persecution of women and the fear of change and progress by the patriarch,” says Sjöström.

Henrik upturns some of the darkest events in recent history, reminding us of the Boko Haram kidnapping 276 Nigerian girls right out of the school yard (Bring Back Our Girls), brutal rape resulting in death of Jyoti Singh Pandey (India’s Daughter), genital mutilation still practiced across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (Muliebrous Desctruction), and more.

“There has been so many gruesome acts of violence aimed at women and girls in these past years, (or rather for as long as I can remember), that I decided as a responsible artist to address these issues and use the platform I have struggled for to generate a discussion. True artists are, in my view, the only genuine reporters of the world, and it is our duty to bring forth these issues of horror.

I have the utmost respect for all the girls and women in the world and they should all be praised not only for their achievements, but also because of the reality that we men would not be here if it wasn’t for women. They should have the same rights, receive the same education, pay and respect that men take for granted. What I would like for people to take away from the exhibition is the fact that we here in the Western world tend to forget the horrible chain of events that takes place outside our own comfort zone once it has been briefly broadcasted on the news and as the manifesto explains, there is so much violence directed towards girls and women around the world that simply should not exist.” - Henrik Sjöström


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