Red shoes raise awareness about violence toward women

The art installation highlights violence against women.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The courtyard at Grand Valley State University's Pew Grand Rapids Campus was filled with red shoes today, Oct. 21. 

Mexican artist, Elina Chauvet created the art installation, which brings to light the issue of violence against women. Each pair of red shoes was paired with a message to honor a victim of violence or trafficking. 

In 2009, Chauvet first displayed the installation of red shoes in memory of the hundreds of women who disappeared, were tortured and then killed in Juárez City during the 1990s and 2000s. 

Juárez City was a place with a culture of abuse, particularly towards women. The term 'femicide' was coined there, raising awareness about rampant gender-based violence in the city particularly toward women. 

The installation has now been done in six locations in Mexico, Texas and Italy. 

The Hispanic Center of West Michigan, Cook Art Center, GVSU's Allendale campus, the Dominican Center at Marywood and Gilda's Club helped with the installation in Grand Rapids. 

The Red Shoe Project is described as a silent march and a collective memory.

According to GVSU, there will be two panel discussions about violence against women and Chauvet will be at both events: 

  • Oct. 23, 7-9 p.m. at the DeVos Center, Loosemore Auditorium 
  • Oct. 24, 7-9 p.m. at the Catholic Information Center, 360 Division Ave. 

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