International Women’s Day 2020 has been a fraught event for millions of people around the world: once again, women find themselves in the position of having to re-assert the necessities of their basic human rights for power structures that continue to refuse to see them as whole people. On Sunday, sex workers in London went on strike in order to reiterate the need for decriminalization of the profession and for guaranteed basic pay, and on Monday, a historic women’s strike is taking place in Mexico in response to the country’s horrifying femicide statistics. Currently, 10 women a day die in Mexico as a direct result of homicidal violence based on gender, and throughout the country, progressive galleries and art institutions are taking a stand in order to draw further attention to this terrifying reality.
Kurimanzutto Gallery in Mexico City is shutting down today in order to participate in the strike. “Women are 70 percent of the force of Kurimanzutto,” the gallery wrote in a statement on its website. “Since they cannot function without us, the gallery will resume work on March 10.” Galería OMR, another contemporary art gallery in Mexico City, said via Instagram that they would be celebrating International Women’s Day via their current autobiographical exhibition from Pia Camil, an artist whose work generally addresses the aesthetic language of modernism and the politics of consumerism.
In honor of Monday’s protests, Museo Frida Kahlo also decorated its exterior walls with colorful banners acknowledging the official name of the demonstration: “A Day Without Women.” The English translation of Museo Frida Kahlo’s banner is “together we are all seen.”
Perla Acevedo, an art gallery worker in Mexico City, told The Washington Post on Sunday that she was protesting on behalf of everything that’s happening around her every day; a stark acknowledgement of the consistency of the murder of women in Mexico. Apathetic leaders and lackluster policy don’t exist in a vacuum. Women’s lives are being cut short because people don’t care enough to intervene. “I know change isn’t going to happen overnight,” Acevedo told the Post. “But people are talking about this at their dinner tables, in schools. That’s what counts.”