The famous images that have circulated the world about the paintings made by feminists in Mexico as a protest are considered a crime classified by law.

The countries of Latin America have a common denominator and it is the colonization to which they were forced with a religious and patriarchal structure that prevails to this day. However, this “vandalism” that feminists are doing, as many argue, is not something that has not been done before, it has a name and arises from the Byzantine era as part of history, known as Iconoclasm.

Iconoclasm means “breaking of images” and its objective is to reject the cult of sacred images as well as the authority of said figures and what they represent. It refers to the destruction of symbols or monuments for religious or political purposes.

Several artists who have created the monuments or works that were intervened by the feminists have supported these events, such as Javier Marín. In the case of Javier Martin, the artist, and author of a monument about “Madero” who is a political figure in Mexico and is located near the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, through an image on his personal Instagram account, he shows the monument with purple and pink spots (distinctive colors of the feminist collective) that were made on the International Women’s Day, well known in Mexico as the day against women violence (march 8) protesting against the president and femicides to which Javier Martin commented: “Good! That is why it was installed without a pedestal so that the “Father of democracy” was part of the social and democratic demonstrations. Hopefully, it would remain as a testimony to this protest ”.

However, one of the acts that infuriated the president of Mexico was the paintings on the paintings of the historical figures that were in the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), especially the one of Francisco I. Madero, a Democratic historical icon in Mexico. However, these paintings intervened by feminists were acclaimed by many others and were even auctioned.

Some people and artists claim that paintings on cultural heritage have the possibility and strength of becoming a work of art since it generates dialogue in society and provokes different emotions in people through messages or simply distinctive colors of the movement. Which does not usually generate a paint of common and current vandalism.

If we connect the dots we have a collective that fights for their rights and freedom in a country governed by the influence of the church and corruption that destroys or “vandalizes” religious symbols, and political monuments that do not represent them in protest. We could well be talking about the Byzantine period, Middle Eastern countries, Babylon, or Egypt. The destruction of symbols has existed throughout history, so why does it generate so much disgust and controversy that a group of the current era paints and defaces political monuments and state patrimonies? because, unlike ancient times, they are being committed purely by women?

If art is understood as any activity or product that is carried out with an aesthetic or communicative purpose as well as one’s own expression, do not feminist paintings qualify as art?

Why does it generate so much rejection to sully and change the meaning of a piece of art that is intended to represent a political or religious ideology that not only does not represent them, but also is part of the oppression conversation and violence towards a large sector of the population?

It is at the discretion of each one, however, these pints have accomplished their purpose: Create conversation, make the spectator stop turning to the other side, talk about the problem. Whether you like it or dislike it, agree or consider that it is an act of crime, it has opened the dialogue on the main problem: Femicide and violence against women.

English References
https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-arthistory1/chapter/iconoclasm/

https://www.google.com.mx/amp/s/itsgoingdown.org/anarchist-feminist-currents-mexico/amp

Spanish References
https://obras.expansion.mx/arquitectura/2020/03/10/escultores-opinaron-pintas-obras-en-la-marcha-del-8m

https://relacionateypunto.com/la-lucha-feminista-en-america-latina-un-grito-de-auxilio-ante-la-violencia-de-genero/

https://www.forbes.com.mx/ebrard-presume-limpieza-del-hemiciclo-a-juarez-tras-pintas-feministas/

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Ariana Federico

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