Red shoes to say: STOP violence against women

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November 25th is the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women”. This is an anniversary established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999 to raise public awareness of the importance of non-violence and respect for women. Unfortunately, news events are commonplace and sadly current for our society; This year in particular we have chosen to talk about it at school and make our contribution to this day.

In many countries, such as Italy, the color displayed on this day is red and one of the symbolic objects is represented by red women’s shoes, lined up in squares or public places, to represent the victims of violence and femicide.

The idea was born from an installation by Mexican artist Elina Chauvet, Zapatos Rojos, created in 2009 in a square in Ciudad Juarez and inspired by the murder of her sister at the hands of her husband and the hundreds of women victims of violence.

This work can be created both in digital format and in graphic/paper format, using photographs of shoes or the shoe drawings found below

For the DIGITAL drawing we used the iPads supplied to our school with the Sketchbook application: we started from a first level where we uploaded a photograph of shoes that each student chose from the web. The drawing is done on a higher layer with a fairly thick black pen stroke. The layer with the photo of the shoes can be made a bit transparent to allow greater visibility of the drawing above. The drawing must always have CLOSED LINES to allow filling with color

upload a photograph of shoes
you draw on the higher layer

Once the drawing is finished, you close the layer with the photo and work exclusively on the drawing layer, proceeding with the colors. To fill the lines (which must be perfectly CLOSED) with color, use the BUCKET tool and choose the colors from the palette.

drawing with lines perfectly closed
use the bucket tool to fill the areas with colors
choose different shades of red

To conclude the drawing, you insert a new layer under the the shoes drawing and write sentences against violence against women, using capital letters with a strong stroke, precisely to forcefully shout our “STOP VIOLENCE!!” The writing is dense and compressed to form a kind of texture:

create a new level under the drawing
write your word in capital letters

Below is a short video of the process:

The images below are of seventh and eighth grade students working on iPads and digital drawings with which we created a large poster to hang in the school hall:

To make the drawing on paper you can use photocopies of shoes to trace or you can directly use the worksheets ready to colour. The shoes can be decorated with pencils or markers, with solid colors, textures, patterns or shades.


Christmas candle-holder trees in ceramic

The still lifes of Felice Casorati: chiaroscuro copy


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