Tell us a little bit about yourself. My name is Damina, but everyone calls me Danii. I am 21 years old. I was born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina. My mother and I moved to Germany in 2013, as I was 15 years old. I enjoy reading books and watching movies. I study Philosophy and German language in Mainz.
When did you start your account? 18.09.2020
Why were you inspired to start an account? One day I was just searching for things on my Instagram and saw the #chalkback. I was curious, so I found @catcallsofmainz. We talked a bit and they asked me, why wouldn’t I #chalkback in Mannheim. I asked my friend, if she wants to help me and so we started.
Why do you think “chalking back” is a good method to raise awareness? When we talk about harassment people often get uncomfortable and change the topic. Chalking back is a creative way to make people hear our stories, that’s why it is a one of best methods to raise awareness.
Why do you think ending street harassment is important? Ending street harassment means being free – being free to wear what you want, to act how you want, to go where you want without being scared and to be yourself. Street harassment is also a part of sexism. Many girls grow up thinking that catcalling and street harassment are normal things they have to live with. “It is a compliment. Why are you so sensitive?” - were the questions people used to ask me. I am not sensitive. It is and will never be a compliment! It has to stop.
What’s your favorite thing about your city?
I love the fact that Mannheim is very multicultural. When you walk down the streets you hear many languages and learn many different cultures. I really love it.
How can your city better address street harassment?
It would be very nice if people would support woman when they see that they talk to a stranger and seem uncomfortable.
What do you hope is the outcome of your account?
I hope that we can raise awareness and help girls to raise their voice. We want to show girls that they don’t have to be afraid to say what they think and to be loud, if they feel uncomfortable. My biggest hope is, that one day we can just say “I am sorry, I am not interested” and be respected as much as when we say “I have a boyfriend”.
What’s the most difficult street harassment situation you’ve experienced? At the moment I don’t feel comfortable to write about this period of my life (it lasted one year), but one day I really want to make a video and talk about it. Maybe I can help someone to ask for help and stop harassment.
What does being a part of this campaign mean to you? Being a part of this campaign means a lot to me. I always wanted to do something important and help to change the world. I still believe that this world can be a beautiful place to live in for all of us.