When did you start your account? 18.01.2021 Why were you inspired to start an account? Having seen the extent to which these events are common on a national level, we decided to take action and show women and girls that they are not alone. In the spirit of female solidarity, we believe that guerilla actions are our most available tool at the moment, having in mind the inaction of institutions on the subject. Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness? By occupation of the public spaces we intend to show the victims that they are not at fault, and put the accent on the aggressors instead. Moreover to highlight that no location guarantees you safety and further abolish blame from the victims. By claiming these spaces we believe that we contribute to their safety and to the open discussion on street harassment which is virtually non-existent outside of individual groups of women. Why do you think ending street harassment is important? Ensuring the safety of all individuals is crucial to achieving a fair society, instead of one where only straight cis men feel safe. We can't talk about a safe society if the streets in our own city pose a threat to our well-being.
What’s your favorite thing about your city? Considering that we are a group, we will name a couple of things. It’s the Balkan version of a youth-friendly city to an extent The spots where young people go out and are somewhat cultural hubs, such as the Youth Cultural Center, a couple of clubs, the City Park, the City Shopping Center (GTC, an exquisite example of brutalist architecture). Everything is sort of nearby and well connected. How can your city better address street harassment? Perhaps if the police did their job and stopped actively participating in the oppression of women by victim-blaming and harassing as well. Aggressors can not be protectors. What do you hope is the outcome of your account? Our main objective is to motivate people to talk and spread awareness of street harassment and to create a bigger safer space for victims.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced?
A couple of experiences:
I was followed home by a car with an open trunk and tinted windows.
A 60 year old man hugged me at a bus stop and followed to see which bus i would get on, after that I had another encounter with him, but he didn’t approach me because I had a male companion.
A middle-aged man has been following me often since i was around 10 years old. At 18 he approached me and my friend and masturbated in front of us, even though we were a couple of meters from a police station and shouting like crazy at him, noone reacted.
A member of a police task force clinched me with his car by a wall and nagged me to get in the car with him and that he would take me home, after sending me drinks at a local cafe the entire night. (I was 15)
On my way to the grocery store I was pushed by a man and when i pushed back he got angry and yelled “Why are you blocking, whore?” and started chasing me. I hid in the grocery store, while he stood outside yelling for me to come out. At one point he tried to go inside, the employee struggled with him in order to defend me.
While out with some friends in the city park, a guy started following us and he waited outside a bakery while we ate. Afterwards we got on a bus and he got on too, where he tried to touch us. No one on the bus reacted, even though they could see what was happening.
I was jogging when i noticed a man jogging right behind me for a while until he groped my behind and immediately started running in the opposite direction.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you? To us, this initiative is a form of resistance and a small, but meaningful step toward the revolution. A form of interdisciplinary show of female solidarity.
Avatar T: short, medium light brown hair, round glasses, always wearing light ripped jeans and casual white t-shirt with some slogan (e.g. not dressed for boys) A: short green hair with bangs, wide-legged ripped jeans, heart belt, black turtleneck, graphic t-shirt, doc martens K: short purple hair (bob), doc martens, flower dress NK: mid-length (currently) dark brown (usually colourful) hair, grey sweats and an oversized grey sweatshirt with air forces NB: wavy light brown hair (usually worn in a messy bun), hazel eyes, stylish dark long coat and leather boots