Did you know that every six hours, someone is attacked by acid? It’s a violent form of assault that overwhelmingly impacts women across the globe. In an age where superficial beauty is given such importance, often the motive behind this crime is to damage the beauty and confidence of someone in the hope that they will become undesirable and unable to function in society. What is more, society often reinforces this because these women are permanently labelled as victims, forever more defined by their physical scars, with the assumption that the rest of their lives have been ruined. More Than Skin Deep is an incredible campaign launched in March 2019 that looks beyond the scars of acid attack survivors and seeks to highlight the issue and redefine the discussion around the aftermath of violence against women and challenge today’s obsession with how we look.
I was thrilled to get involved as Strategy and Engagement partner with such a worthy campaign lead by artist, art for change advocate and founder of Artspostive, Debasmita Dasgupta. Debasmita, along with poet, researcher and international cultural manager, Claire Rosslyn Wilson and writer Isha Bhattacharya have collaborated to create a series of beautiful poems, illustrations and real life stories of fifteen fearless women from around the globe. All of the women in this campaign, challenge the stereotype of the acid attack victim, to redefine beauty and success for themselves and the women around them.
Their achievements are wide ranging; Natalia Ponce de León’s activism has led to an increase in maximum sentences for acid attack perpetrators in Colombia to 50 years. Resham Khan, an aspiring model and social media influencer from the UK has challenged perceptions of beauty and Iranian artist Massoumeh Attaie, has given art classes to the visually impaired, encouraging others to gain the confidence to return to society.
I am so honoured to be involved in this project which ultimately seeks to change the way we view and treat survivors of these horrific crimes while seeking to inform and empower women everywhere to find strength in the face of adversity and discover their own sense of beauty and acceptance within themselves. The More Than Skin Deep campaign is so inspiring and impactful because it champions a growing issue that needs to be given greater attention by governments around the world so that stricter penalties are enforced for acid attackers and easy access to acid is prohibited.
If you would like to support this campaign and spread the word, you can download one of the Fearless Fifteen posters every month here. If you would like to learn more about the More than Skin Deep campaign you can find out here and follow Artpositive and their incredible art for change projects on Instagram here. Look out for our interview coming shortly with the two women leading the campaign, Debasmita and Claire.
Creative Arts Social is a not for profit organization. We believe that art is for everyone. We all have the creative potential to understand, connect with and benefit from the arts. For more information about the work we do here.