She might still be in high school, but Naushaan Ahmad wants to empower women to speak out against domestic violence.
The St Marys Senior High School student will unveil an art installation at her Oxley Park home that shines a light on the nature of family violence.
Naushaan, 17, told the Star her project was only on a small scale, but she hoped it would inspire conversation in her community.
“I wanted to raise awareness because I feel like domestic violence is not addressed as seriously as it should be at times,” she said.
“Being from a Pakistani background, I know that a lot of people in that community don’t feel empowered.
“There’s people I know that have been through this.
“That’s something that has to change. It’s something I’m really passionate about.”
The installation, entitled ‘Sub Rosa’, will run in the family’s on Canberra Street garage from 10am-7pm on both Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19.
“I feel like having it at my home gives the exhibition a more personal touch,” Naushaan said.
It features a seven minute video which follows a conversation between a married couple, and shows how quickly a “normal” argument can become violent.
“The exhibition includes a projection of dialogue between a man and his wife,” she said.
“It starts out as a normal conversation, but as it goes on it reveals tension between the two. There’s a baby crying in the background and things boil over.
“I guess I wanted to show how easily a normal conversation can become violent. Not that it’s an excuse, but more that it shows how common domestic violence is in our community.”
The project is also the year 12 student’s major HSC project for visual arts.
She hopes that one day she could do a similar installation at an art gallery.
“I would like to do more works like this. It’s only something small, but hopefully one day I will get the opportunity on a larger scale.”