Artist Memorializes Mexico's Murdered Women

Disturbed by the unexplained disappearance of hundreds of women from Juarez, artist Andrea Arroyo has created a series of chalk drawings on black paper that she explains is both a "tribute to these women and to celebrate their lives."

The sketches are designed to resemble police chalk drawings of the recently deceased. Each one of the 200 drawings represents a victim, many of whom remain unidentified. The minimalist drawings show the outline of a single body part, a fragment of the victim. The elegant braids, hands, and backs reflect the gruesome nature of the murders; many of the bodies were found dismembered, and only pieces of the women were discovered.

Arroyo says the pieces speak to the unrealized potential of so many lives cut short by violence. In an interview with Women's eNews, Arroyo explains,

"As I thought about the theme, I was increasingly intrigued by the idea that these women died before their full potential was realized, and that each victim may have become a modern day Joan of Arc, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks or Frida Kahlo."

Much of Arroyo's work centers on these amazing women, the Joan of Arcs and the Cleopatras of history. But she was moved by the deaths in Juarez, and decided to honor the victims by giving each woman her own page. As of now, the project is unfinished. Arroyo has displayed sections of the work, but she hopes that someday she will be able to display all the drawings together, unframed. "To me that emphasizes the fragility of these women. The papers can flow in the wind and become alive, they can easily be ripped and damaged," she said.

Artist Dedicates Herself To The Lost Women Of Juarez [Women's eNews]
Andrea Arroyo [Official Site]

Related: Mexico's Missing Girls Remain A Mystery