Diane Kahlo
A Homage to the Missing and Murdered Girls of Juárez, Mexico

Hundreds of young women have been raped and murdered in Juárez, Mexico, since 1993, without criminal investigation or punishment. The Human Rights Institute Gallery at Kean University sheds light on this injustice with an exhibition of Diane Kahlo’s Las Desaparecidas de Ciudad Juárez: A Homage to the Missing and Murdered Girls of Juárez, Mexico.

“Las Desaparecidas de Ciudad Juárez features portraits painted from more than 150 photographs of missing and murdered girls that Kahlo has gathered over the years,” said Neil Tetkowski, Director of Kean University Galleries. “Through this work, Kahlo keeps the memory of these young women alive and the worldwide injustices against females at the forefront of our minds as a call to action—initiatives aligned with the mission of the Human Rights Institute at Kean University.”

In the last 15 years, Kahlo’s work has focused on exploitation and violence against women, and populations disempowered by sexism, racism, xenophobia and poverty. Most recently, she has concentrated on topics addressing the U.S.—Mexican border, including immigration, worker rights and gender violence. The last five years she has focused on the ‘feminicide’ in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

“The memorial wall pays homage to the victims of a different kind of war, feminicide–the homicide against women simply because they are women. Women and girls continue to be abused, raped, murdered, and kidnapped to be sold into sex and slave trafficking at an alarming rate,” said Kahlo, noting that she approaches her work from the perspective of a woman, artist and mother. “Although this project is addressing a specific geographic location, it is also meant to provoke a conversation about the crimes against women internationally."