In a brand new series, artist Caley Holmboe collaborated with womxn across the world to tell their stories of catcalling and harassment in a whole new way for Do You Feel Safe on the Street?
TW: Sexual assault
Caley’s inspiration came from her own experience of street harassment: “I was minding my business going to the shop with my dog. A group of guys start cat-calling me. One of them says, ‘can I walk your dog?’ I say no, walking away. Another says, ‘you can sit on my face anytime’. My blood surges, I shout ‘fuck off!’ The whole group start calling me ‘slut’ loudly down the street. I have been here before. I feel rage, fear, I cry.”
“As an outlet I post my experience on my story and I ask the question: do you feel safe on the street? I was moved when women shared their experiences with me. I asked to paint their portraits to honour their stories because this abuse is traumatic, yet trivialised and normalised. Every woman I know has been harassed on the street. Sadly, we just accept this misogyny like background noise. This is unacceptable and we must raise awareness.”
See below for Caley’s hand painted portraits and the stories of her subjects.
“Many men have been vile in their catcalling and I’ve learned there is no safe response.” – @BadoTheCreative
“Drunk stranger punched me for not going home with him. Raped a few times walking home drunk.” – @beachbnnybabe
“Because I never know what to expect from men that day.” – @leila_ghaddar
“Cat-calling, stalkers, being approached by disrespectful men and afraid of an attempt at rape.” – Anonymous
“Cat calling, asking where I am from out of nowhere and Asian racial slurs.” – @chillywilai
“It depends what time of day it is and how empty the streets are, if it’s night I always worry.” – @late_at_night
“Feeling of being judged by men and women but mostly men staring and beeping car horns.” – Anonymous
“Depends on the street and if I’m alone or not. But past experience has taught me I’m vulnerable & a target.” – Anonymous
“I never know what kind of harassment I will face, racial or sexist.” – Anonymous
Thanks to everyone who participated for sharing how they feel on the street and for Caley for creating these amazing pieces. Follow Caley on Instagram for more.