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Meet Arianna and Kieren

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

We are both Malaysian, based in Kuala Lumpur. We meet because we are both UWC graduates. (I) Arianna graduated from UWC in Mostar and Kieren graduated from UWC in Norway in 2019.

When did you start your account?

After a year of planning and dreaming, we finally started our account as soon as the Movement Control Order lifted.

Why were you inspired to start an account?

After countless conversions, we came to realise quite a big gap of awareness between genders when it came to harassment. We thought it was a great way to raise awareness and wanted to try it out too.

Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness?

Unfortunately, street harassment is so common here in Kuala Lumpur so it is often dismissed. We think “chalking back” not only raises awareness, but also creates a space for people to talk about issues/situations that are often made ‘insignificant’.

Why do you think ending street harassment is important?

Although ending street harassment is near to impossible, raising awareness and confronting it is a huge step in making women (and others who get harassed) more comfortable in the city they live it.

What’s your favorite thing about your city?

Apart from the food, our favourite thing about our city must be how multicultural the society is. This creates constant dynamic in the landscape - shifting from shophouses to skyscrapers, which is forever mesmerising.

How can your city better address street harassment?

We believe that before a problem can be overcome, it has to be confronted. In our case, chalking can have a butterfly affect on conversations and actions which will eventually ignite other people/projects.

What do you hope is the outcome of your account?

Raise awareness and start a bigger movement.

What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?

The most difficult situation I have been in involves men physically grabbing me or men showing me inappropriate parts.

What does being a part of this campaign mean to you?

Being a part of this campaign makes me feel like I can create a safe space for others to share their stories. Which may consequently help start conversations that we were necessarily actively not having before.


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