Secrets: Insp. Noorazlina Darkaseh, investigating officer of the Criminal Investigation Division (Sexual and Children), listens to recordings of accounts of domestic violence on a pair of headphones while trying to read quotes placed inside the hollow ceramic sculpture of a human head. The interactive installation was part of the launch of Can You Keep A Secret?, a campaign organised by Women’s Aid Organisation to highlight continuing cases of domestic violence in Malaysia. Photo: The Star/Muhammad Shahril Rosli.
There is a tale, a dark and devastating one, that many women keep hidden in their hearts. Shame, ridicule or even judgement may befall them should they open their mouths and speak.
The horror of domestic violence is nothing but a skeleton that has to be kept in the closet.
So all that these poor victims can do is put on a mask of normalcy and carry on with life as if nothing terrible has happened.
But all that is set to change with the Can You Keep A Secret? campaign. Launched by the Women’s Aid Organisation in collaboration with Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide Malaysia, the public education campaign is aimed at raising awareness on domestic violence.
As part of the campaign, a ceramic art installation, featuring 12 live-sized head sculptures of women, are on display along Publika’s Blue Bridge.
Sculpted by Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide Malaysia’s artist James Seet, the sculptures at this Kuala Lumpur mall represent everyday women who are victims of abuse.
“Ceramic art was used to mirror real stories of survivors, representing the fragility of abused victims,” says Seet. He adds that all the head sculptures are “pleasant looking, signifying the excuses they portray outside, but inside it is all rough and very real.”
Each sculpture comes complete with a voice recording, each telling a story of domestic violence survivors. Though actors were used to voice the recordings, the stories are based on actual testimonies of survivors.
Seet hopes the public will “take domestic violence as an issue that the community need to care for. These victims can’t help themselves, they need friends, family and neighbours to help.
“It’s not out of sight, out of mind. We are not aware that this social issue is becoming more serious with time. The abused and the abusers need counselling and help.”
Can You Keep A Secret? is currently on display on the Blue Bridge, Level G3, Publika, Solaris Dutamas in Kuala Lumpur until July 22.