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Celebrating Valentine’s Day and Activism Through Art

These artists show us that oftentimes, love is really about strength.

by VICE Asia Staff
14 February 2020, 8:09am

Illustration by Noha Habaieb

For many, Valentine’s Day is all about chocolates, roses, and romantic dates. But for others, it means so much more. Simply put, it's about love in all of its forms. They dive deep into and go far beyond the normative concept of romance and believe that oftentimes, love is really about strength.

This Valentine’s Day, Oxfam's Enough Campaign wants to pay tribute to the young people who are claiming space and pushing for change. To do this, the organisation collaborated with artists from around the world to create artwork that show solidarity and support for those who are politically engaged and determined to shape the future of their communities.

The pieces showcase the power of youth and feminist engagement as a way to spark conversations and foster unity.

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Illustration by Noha Habaieb

Noha Habaieb, Tunisia

"On this day of love I wanted to pay tribute to all the women who fight daily against a patriarchal society. This is a drawing to tell them that we love them in their fight." - Noha Habaieb

Noha Habaieb is a Tunisian-French illustrator. She is one of the founders of LAB619, a Tunisian comics magazine, launched in 2013. She co-organises and participates in artistic residencies around migration, identity, and borders. Noha is also co-founder of Atelier Glibett, a studio specialising in illustration and comics, currently working between Tunis and Doha.

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Illustration by Katny F

Katny F, Venezuela

“To represent V-Day, I wanted to talk about all kinds of love we have in our lives, how it accompanies us, makes us grow. I felt inspired by the love I feel for the friends who motivated me to become an activist. I find it so important to have people by your side to build your own family and help you grow. I also didn't want to put romantic love aside and that's why I made an illustration that celebrates couples who want to break the canons of romantic love and build their own ways of loving, based on respect and freedom.

“I want to tell young feminists that the real challenge they are going to face is to not succumb to frustration. If they are like me, activism is something very important, very valuable in their lives, and to see how, on a day to day basis on social media, so many people trample it, it breaks your heart. The good thing is that, even though the bad stuff stands out, the good things are much brighter. You will meet amazing people and you will leave your mark for the next generations. In due time, you will see the fruits of your effort.” - Katny F

Katny F. is the young Venezuelan illustrator behind @Maluca_kf, an Instagram profile that shares everyday scenes with a touch of feminism, anti-racism, and self-care. A graduate in Plastic Arts, Katny began her feminist activism in 2016 with the campaign “These are not compliments, it’s harassment” of the Fundación Proyecto Mujeres. Her friends describe her as cheerful, spontaneous, fun, determined, and bright ... but also "Maluca" (bad-ass) because she says what she thinks.

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Illustration by Supriya Tirkey

Supriya Tirkey, India

"The social obligations of being a woman is so steeped into our subconscious that we need a constant reminder that we are also human. Through this piece I want to convey the power of being together and celebrate the ‘We’-day for womanhood, that fights the battle of cultural and societal oppression and leads political revolutions as one strong unit." - Supriya Tirkey

Supriya Tirkey is an animated filmmaker and illustrator with deep fondness for films, forests, and culinary culture. She is based out of a quaint seaside village in Goa. Hailing from an indigenous tribe in India, her work generally revolves around psychological and sociological changes caused by development and displacement.

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Illustration by Iman Geddy

Iman Geddy, USA

"Dr. Stella Nyanzi’s courage is matched only by her artistry. Her work challenges us all to be bold even in the face of persecution and to never forget the power of our eroticism. Even as she strikes terror in the hearts of exploitative employers and dictatorial leaders, Dr. Nyanzi retains her trademark humour and tenderness, as evidenced in her insightful poetry. A mother, a scholar, a lover, and an artist, Dr. Nyanzi embodies the highest of our ideals. This piece is a small token of my appreciation and hopefully a salve for all those who love and admire her as we await her release from prison." - Iman Geddy

Iman Geddy is a graphic designer, illustrator, and comic book colourist based in Atlanta. Inspired by the colourful equatorial landscapes of eastern Africa as well as the geometric harmony of Islamic architecture, she creates striking art that celebrates the beauty of the world around us and the people in it.

This article is a collaboration between VICE Asia and Oxfam's Enough Campaign, a worldwide campaign to end violence against women and girls. The images above aim to show solidarity and support for young people who are politically engaged and determined to shape the future of their communities. Share the images on social media and read more about the campaign here.

Tagged:
Culture
activism
relationships
Youth
oxfam
Valentine's Day
Women Empowerment