Artist Shepard Fairey Creates Colorful Butterly Design for Amnesty International Campaign Against Sexual Violence

Press Release
June 14, 2011

Artist Shepard Fairey Creates Colorful Butterly Design for Amnesty International Campaign Against Sexual Violence

Fairey Says: “Everyone Should Live Free From Fear”

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150, strimel@aiusa.org

(New York) -- Internationally acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey has created a captivating new design exclusively for Amnesty International in its 50th year to support its global campaign to defend the rights of women and girls in Nicaragua.

Amnesty International’s campaign – entitled La Mariposa (Spanish for ‘butterfly’) – will encourage supporters around the world to create and send a colorful butterfly to women’s rights groups in Nicaragua as a sign of solidarity with girls and women in the Central American country.

Every year, thousands of young girls and women in Nicaragua are raped and subjected to other forms of sexual violence, often by family members or men who are well known to the family. The rate of this violence is disturbingly high. According to official statistics, more than 14,000 cases were reported between 1998 and 2008. Two-thirds of the victims were 17 years old or younger. These figures are all the more alarming given that in Nicaragua, rape and sexual abuse are under-reported, especially if they include acts of incest.

Women are reluctant to report the crimes, fearful of the stigma and shame attached to those who do. Women find themselves ostracized by their families and communities.  

Larry Cox, executive director, Amnesty International USA, said: “Violence against women is a scourge that must be eliminated. Amnesty International has a long history of working with extraordinary artists on our campaigns. We welcome Shepard Fairey to this long line of artists who contribute their exceptional art to support vital work.  We are so very grateful to him for this strikingly beautiful and uplifting image that will help us defend women in Nicaragua and around the world.”

Fairey, who shot to fame after he created the iconic Barack Obama HOPE portrait during the 2008 presidential elections, said: “Human rights and equality are very important pillars of my philosophy.  I am honored to do what I can to support Amnesty in their continuous efforts. Everyone should live free from fear."

For women’s rights activists in Nicaragua, the butterfly is a symbol of their hope that women will realize their dreams, spread their wings and fight with strength for their rights.

Amnesty International, marking its 50th anniversary in 2011, is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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