We are living in a time when there are many instances of violence and atrocities happening around the world, often in the context of protests. In many cases, protesters have been met with excessive force from police and the military, including the use of metal pellets and rubber bullets. These non-lethal weapons are often used to disperse crowds, but they can cause serious injuries, including permanent blindness, when used inappropriately or at close range.
Despite the fact that these protests are often peaceful, their nonviolent means of expressing a political objection have been perceived as ‘violent’ or as ‘a riot’ by authorities, and this has been used to legitimize violent means of repressing the protests.
For instance, hundreds of protesters in Iran have been blinded by metal pellets and rubber bullets in 2022-23. Likewise, in the US in September 2020 during Black Lives Matter at least 23 people were blinded or partially blinded by munitions used by the police. In Chile, at least 230 people have lost their sight while participating in demonstrations over inequality and poor social services. Other notable cases involving protests that resulted in serious injuries include the 2018 Kashmir protests and the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
In this installation the victims’ words are projected on to their eyes, to highlight the importance of nonviolent means of political protest and to hold governments accountable for their violent actions.
Only by standing up for our basic human rights and democratic values can we hope to build a more just and equitable society.
This artwork incorporates a close-up recording of eyes that are shedding black tears, while expressing the comments of victims through reaction diffusion patterns. The piece is created using shader-based programming in C# in Unity. From an artistic perspective, this composition combines imagery and technology to create a powerful and emotionally impactful experience for the viewer.
- Behnaz Farahi
- Julian Ceipek
- Gregory Crosby
- Jack Irish, Alison Yanacek
- Eyes Captured
- Martha Carter
- Denny Cubbage
- Debra Satterfield
- Innovation Space, CSULB