Panmela Castro: Women’s Rights on Graffiti

Also identified as Anarkia Boladona, this Brazilian artist uses graffiti as a tool to advocate against domestic violence, to promote awareness on women’s rights and the let the world know about the incidence of domestic violence regarding Brazilian women. Castro was born on 26 June, 1981 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Panmela Castro Women’s Rights on Graffiti

Castro herself had a rough childhood and adolescence; sadly she grew up in a family where domestic violence was common. Both her mother and aunt were domestic violence victims and soon enough Castro herself eventually became another victim.

In spite of the dark circumstances, Castro went to Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. In 2006 the Maria da Penha Law was passed in Brazil, such law recognized that, to physically and mentally abuse women was illegal. Nevertheless many women were completely unaware of it. It was then when Panmela used her graffiti as a mean to pass this law on.

Her art is filled with provocative topics: gender equality, sexism, sexuality, power relations and more. Though not only through her art she draws attention, she also founded Rede Nami. This organization hosts workshops all over Brazil, its main goal is teaching women and girls about domestic violence. Attendees are taught the graffiti art as well.

Castro has worked with the Nike Company, the Organization of American States, the Brazilian Academy of Letters and more. Due to her work she has been awarded with the Hutúz Graffiti Artist of the Decade, the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for human rights and she was nominated as one in 150 women that are changing the world.

A kilometer-long mural was made by Castro and the Creating4Change production team in Rio de Janiero. They spent three weeks creating this piece. It was aimed to raise awareness about domestic violence before FIFA’s World Cup (2014) began.