hot dog waterboarding
Securicorp is a performance in which a young boy named Gino and I dress as security guards and escort women in locations where instances of street harassment have taken place. These locations include (but are not limited to) bus stops, riding on the bus, walking on the street, the beach, the market and also while walking to school. The absurdity of a security guard escorting women as they perform mundane activities highlights the inability of women to lead normal lives due to frequent and unwanted harassment. Securicorp is a response to Alyssa Fine’s research on street harassment in Mauritius. After listening to the stories Alyssa collected, I created artwork that that depicted the ways in which women’s daily lives are interrupted by street harassment.
In Securicorp, the security guard is a figure of authority and protection that is empathetic to the victims of street harassment. By casting myself, as opposed to a man, as the security guard I am subverting issues of protection and exposing the soft sexism of protection.
Although I am a figure of authority, my presence gives a false sense of security to women, which argues the point that street harassment is not just an individual issue but also a social one. My presence is an unrealistic promise that does not eliminate the problem at hand. It thrusts the responsibility of protection and safety onto women, further causing them to alter their daily lives, rather than addressing the behavior of the harasser.
The absurdity continues with the casting of the second security guard, who is played by Gino, a young 12 year old boy. His performance continues to question the farce of power and protection and also introduces the innocent bystanders that are affected by street harassment who must either accept or reject this as conventional behavior.
A special thanks to those that made this project possible and to the women and men who were brave enough to participate.