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Je tourne mon visage vers vous – Veronique Sapin

“My name is Human Being. I have the right to choose everything in my life; just like you; because it’s only natural. ISN’ T IT ?” With this defying question, multimedia artist and curator Véronique Sapin introduces her videopoem “I am turning my face towards you”.

“I am turning my face towards you. There is no reason I couldn’t trust you because you are a human being too”. In words by Véronique Sapin:

“This is the way we imagine what should be the highest shape of the relations between the human beings. We are still far from this ideal. I chose to speak about one of these acts which drive humanity to regress towards the animal: the acid attack. That is a crime with a marked gender skew. Women and girls are victims in 75-80% of cases. Of the female victims, about 30% are under 18. 1,500 cases are recorded around the world every year. However that is likely to be massively underreported. Most victims are fearful to report it to the police for fear of reprisal. The acid attacks are increasing.”

Such a simple gesture as turning your face towards the person who’s speaking to us, an image dyed white and over-exposed symbolizing inocence, is the basis of this tripartite videopoem. The initial text (“My name is Human Being”) is a declaration of the equality of rights and realities among human beings. It crawls under a feminine face. Sentences with the effects of acid form the core. In the end, the initial text turns (“My name is Female”) into concrete examples of women narrating the horrible experience of suffering an acid attack. The brutality of these words takes up the whole screen and, as it happens in reality, ends eroding the face completely. Until just an empty space remains. A black void.