Suspended purple dresses at Capitol bring attention to missing women

Over a dozen purple dresses suspended from the ceiling of the state Capitol Wednesday brought attention to missing women in observance of International Women’s Day. 
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

Over a dozen purple dresses suspended from the ceiling of the state Capitol Wednesday brought attention to missing women in observance of International Women’s Day.

“Each dress represents a real woman,” a sign posted near the display said. “Honor invisible stories. #iwd2017.”

A group called Af3irm hung the dresses to honor the international day celebrating women. The group is a transnational feminist organization that focuses on activism to spread awareness of social issues against women.

One onlooker noted the dresses blowing in the wind resembled ghosts — and that was the intention of the symbolism behind the public art piece.

Some dresses displayed names like ‘Charlie Scott’ to represent an individual woman. Others had messages saying, “15 percent of Filipinas are killed from Domestic Violence related crimes,” “44 percent of incarcerated women are Native Hawaiian,” or “Thousands of native American women disappear every year.”

The dresses were up for about 20 minutes before state deputy sheriffs removed the display, Khara Jabola of Af3irm said.

“It was a symbolic act of art and messaging,” Jabola said. She calls it a form of “artivism,” when art and activism collide.

A march through Waikiki will was also held Wednesday to show solidarity with the International Women’s Day.

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