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Portraits of women murdered in Ciudad Juarez on view at the European Parliament
Brian Maguire, Anna Maria Gardea Villalobos, 1997/2009. Acrylic on canvas, 137.2 x 91.5 cm.

BRUSSELS.- Femicide/Juarez is an exhibition that consists of a number of portraits of young female factory workers who have been abused and murdered since 1993. Maguire spent the past three years researching and working with the families of these women who were murdered in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, conducting workshops with the victims¹ children and the social context which prevails in that state. The outcome of this work is the series of portraits of the young women as the family remembers them along with a domestic portrait of a loved one received by each family.

The term femicide describes the murders of women and girls in Ciudad Juarez and the impunity that surrounds them. Femicide as a term was first publicly introduced in 1976 by Diana Russell while testifying at the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women in Brussels in 1976 and Ciudad Juarez has a reputation for violence and brutality against women. The reality is that since 1993 more than 370 young women and girls have been murdered in the cities of Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua without the authorities taking proper measures to investigate and address the problem.

The exhibition Femicide/Juarez being placed within the European Parliament is a means to generate a debate among the parliamentarians about the social problems and the systemic failure of state authorities in allowing the murders and related abuses to take place as well as the perception that some convictions in connection with the crimes may be due more to political and international pressure than well-founded judicial decisions. The products the factory workers produce in the Juarez factories are in our cars and televisions across Europe. their story has its place in Brussels.

Born in Bray, Co.Wicklow, Ireland, artist Brian Maguire works in Dublin and Paris. He represented Ireland at the 24th Sao Paulo Biennial and more recently the 3rd Beijing Biennale, China. An engaged painter, his work connects with issues of human rights, often working in collaboration with people in institutions such as in the public commission in the OPZ Hospital, Geel, Belgium and in the residencies undertaken in many prisons througout Europe and the Americas.

Maguire¹s work is held in many public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), the Alvar Aalto Museum, Finland, the Wolverhampton Arts + Museum, England, the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands. Maguire is a member of Aosdana and represented by the Kerlin Gallery.

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