27 - 2022 silk, cotton & metallic embroidery threads on antique linen; 67 x 35 cm.
this is the second piece in an ongoing project documenting femicides in austria by hand embroidering a dedicated space on a piece of antique linen fabric for every woman who was killed in austria because she was a woman.
in 2022, 27 women were (allegedly) killed, all 27 by either their (ex)partners, acquaintances or family members.* (source: autonome österreichische frauenhäuser)
according to wikipedia, “femicide is a hate crime term, broadly defined as “the intentional killing of women or girls because they are female”, though definitions vary depending on its cultural context. Feminist author Diana E. H. Russell was the first person to define and disseminate this term in modern times, in 1976. She defines the word as “the killing of females by males because they are female.” Other feminists place emphasis on the intention or purpose of the act being directed at females specifically because they are female. Others include the killing of females by females.”
while i try to be very accurate and transparent about the figures concerning this series, this is not about figures and final numbers. my goal is to document and make tangible (in the truest sense of the word - you can touch the pieces, if you want) the results of a patriachal society that kills women just because they are women - femicides.
austria is still a very conservative country and society when it comes to gender roles, so it's no surprise that there is very little will to see that we do have a problem and very little action to change anything about the status quo. the political parties in charge don't really see any reason to act; our minister for women's agendas says she has never experienced sexism and is silent year after year when the topic of femicides comes up. so while i talk about figures, please don't get too hung up about them and try to listen to the embroidery and hear what it tells you.
8.1.2022, weißenkirchen im attergau; 42 years
12.1.2022, sollenau; 6 years
1.2.2022, graz; 81 years
8.2.2022, graz; 41 years
16.2.2022, wien; 83 years
24.2.2022, wien; 57 years
4.3.2022, lustenau; 30 years
25.3.2022, stockerau; 86 years
25.4.2022, schwendt; 68 years
11.5.2022, wien; 87 years
13.5.2022, piesendorf; 30 years
30.5.2022, reutte; 17 years
2.6.2022, schladming; 78 years
8.6.2022, wien; 79 years
13.6.2022, großenzersdorf; 83 years
19.6.2022, wien; 20 years
22.6.2022, wien; 76 years
25.6.2022, wien; 82 years
16.7.2022, wien; 22 years**
20.7.2022, wagna; 41 years
5.8.2022, wien; 32 years
5.8.2022, wien; 15 years
24.8.2022, oberwaltersdorf; 57 years
24.8.2022, neulengbach; 20 years
30.8.2022, bludenz; 32 years
16.9.2022, graz; 71 years
25.9.2022, ternberg; ? years
* homicide (or in these cases - femicides) is first and foremost a legal category - to rule a death as homicide/murder or an accident is the job of a court of law. the way i work on this project is to continually work on it throughout the year, according to the list that is kept up to date by the autonome österreichische frauenhäuser. they document all possible femicides. because of this continual process, i included a few women in my piece in 2021 whose deaths were later ruled not homicides; i pointed out all of them for transparecy reasons. last year i was a bit slower, so i excluded two women that show up on the list, but by the time i was working on the project, courts or investgations had already declared their deaths an accident in one case, and in another case the accused was not charged with homicide/murder. i excluded those two women, and this is also how i arrived at my count of 27 instead of 29 on the list.
** it is possible that this was not a homicide/femicide. she asphyxiated; and she had a lung condition. i cound't find any further reports after the initial news article.