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Art and fashion meet social activism at Lucia Cuba's Artículo 6

By Nancy Guima

Sometimes art is just art, but sometimes it is also so much more. Lucia Cuba uses her art and fashion design to teach an important message to Peru: let’s not repeat the mistakes of our past.

Art and fashion meet social activism at Lucia Cuba's Artículo 6

How can we use art and fashion for social activism? (All photos by author)

I never thought about fashion as a vehicle to express outrage towards a horrendous crime.  But Tuesday night in Cinematògrafo de Barranco, I learned that fashion is so more than beautiful outfits; that one of the purposes of fashion is also to raise social awareness so as not to make the same mistakes of our past and not to let crimes happen again.

Fashion designer Lucia Cuba showed me yesterday that activist design exists and that better than looking into the past to rake over old scars is to learn and get stronger while looking forward with hope.

She selected a very shocking topic to focus her project on: the cases of forced sterilizations in Peru between 1996 and 2000, during Alberto Fujimori’s government.  

The name of her project is “ARTICULO 6: Narrativas de género, fortaleza y política" and it takes its name from article 6 of the general health law. The project includes an outfit collection as well as 12 concrete actions.

Clothes are made out of cotton and include embroidery and patterns such as the shocking dress with the pattern of Alberto Fujimori when he was a child (see above). The 12 concrete actions include performances, meta collections (accessories like ojota shoes, which suit the style of dresses she presents), exhibits, videos, photography, workshops related to the topic and so on.

I know that maybe you didn\‘t know about this cruel crime because we are young, and when that happened we were children. But it is our task, as young Peruvian people, to learn about this, even if it’s not so cool talking about it. And I strongly agree with Lucia when she says that every Peruvian citizen should get involved in order to avoid these kinds of cruelties in the future.

To get involved visit the Artículo 6 website and learn more about Lucia Cuba and her exhibit.  

And don’t worry if you missed yesterday’s exhibit, because Lucia will continue improving her work and making it bigger so I will keep you informed about future exhibits related to this topic. That’s a promise!