In the wake of covid 19 and recent campaigns against rape in the country, Ghanaian creative artist Lanto Kwame Asazime has educated the general public to stop rape in all forms in his creative discarded eggshell art piece under the theme let avoid rape.
Stop Rape Project
According to the artist who aims at using his artworks to record issues of the moments, address social issues and challenges said rape cases in recent times are on the increase and hence victims lives are jeopardized. In an interview with TJT World, the artist said although perpetrators may enjoy a few minutes of pleasure, its lasting effects and consequences are huge on the victims. “Rape victims are often hurt emotionally, physically and psychologically, some end up losing their lives because of this act, hence I created this piece to educate the public to put a stop to rape” Lanto Asazime explained.
According to the artist who describes himself as an art activist, says artworks have the ability to communicate messages and break any barrier of communication in other to cause the needful change in society. “Art has the ability to carry messages beyond boundaries” He added.
A nearly raped story that motivated the artist
An attempted rape victim, Blackgirl Akila, who doubles as a good friend to the artist shared her ordeal in an interview, said she was nearly raped twice in life. “I was nearly raped twice, first was at age eight, and the other at the tertiary. Men try to lure girls into sex, and if they don’t have their way, they force themselves on the girls” she explained.
Also, a rape victim, Efya Elorm, shared her sorrowful experience with TJT World on how she became pregnant in Senior High School through rape. She said she innocently carried his teacher’s books to his house and was raped. She halted her education to deliver and later went back to school to complete her high school education. “In fact, I had so much hatred for my son and the teacher who did this barbaric act unto me, however, I was counselled to love my innocent son because I carried him nine mouths and brought forth him, hence I should forgive myself and love him”. She unravels her story as she shared tears.
In the art piece, Lanto Asazime, artistically tells the story of a stronger male perpetrator who forcefully tears the dress of a young lady, in the end, he takes away the pride of the lady through rape. The lady is seen screaming, crying and looks helpless.
According to Lanto, he creatively used a male figure as a perpetrator and a woman as the victim because statistics by the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection indicates that male figures are the majority of rape cases perpetrators whereas the female figures are the victims.
However, Lanto appreciates that in some instances, the reverse of the data above is possible. “I am using the work to address both sexes and people, the male figure in my work stands for anybody who perpetuates rape and the female figure also represent a rape victim irrespective of a person’s sex”.
Lanto hopes that this art piece will impact society and put an end to rape activities in the country and the globe at large. According to the artist, the work also serves as a voice to rape victims. It also aims at educating the public about the kind of danger and psychological disturbances imposed on rape victims. “Most at times, rape victims hardly come out to voice their plight, because of the stigma society may attach to them, so the work is a wakeup call to everyone to stand against rape and to caution perpetrators to put a stop to it”.
As an African artist who seeks to project the African identity, Lanto Asazime, in the art piece using the traditional raffia mat as the background coupled with broken discarded eggshell pieces, Lanto also hinted that the art piece is a combination of photography and paintings. According to the artist, the fragile nature of the egg depicts the fragile manner and how broken rape victim becomes after a few minutes of pleasure by the perpetrator. ”The fragile nature of the eggshells communicates how broken, worried and devastating rape victims become”. He explained.
Lanto says arts pieces have always taken a particular form and style, however, his creative prowess is new in the art space, hence Ghanaians are gradually becoming enthusiastic about his works, however, he added that art buying is minimal. He encouraged Ghanaians to promote arts in other to project the African identity. He urged other artists to consider using recyclable materials for artworks to solve society’s sanitation challenges and improve the environment.