Toronto artist stops tweeting illustrations of missing, murdered aboriginal women
Illustrator Evan Munday has been sketching and inking portraits of Canada’s missing and murdered aboriginal women.
Published Wednesday, January 14, 2015 8:50PM EST
A Toronto artist who has been drawing portraits of missing and murdered aboriginal women and sending them to Prime Minister Stephen Harper over Twitter says he’s discontinuing the extensive project.
Since Jan. 5, part-time illustrator Evan Munday has been sketching and inking illustrations of the women. Along with the sketches, Munday would send Harper the name of each woman and the date she disappeared or was found dead.
But Munday decided to end the project after some families of the women expressed concerns about the initiative.
In a lengthy statement posted to his website, Munday announced that Monday’s illustration would be his last.
“After extensive conversation with a group formed of families of some of the missing and murdered women, I believe I cannot continue the project in a way that respects these women’s autonomy or a way that helps rather than harms the families of these thousands of women,” Munday wrote.
He also apologized for “hurting the families of these women and for making them relive painful memories.”
In an interview with CTV News earlier this week, Munday said that he was inspired to illustrate the women after hearing the prime minister say the issue “wasn’t high on his radar.”
In addition to trying to raise awareness, Munday said he also saw his portraits as an “extended moment of silence” for the victims.
Munday said in the posting Wednesday that some of the families raised concerns over image consent, and the appropriateness of “cartoony” drawings to draw attention to the matter.
There were also concerns that the art project was drawing attention away from indigenous-led efforts to encourage the government to take action on the issue, Munday said.
“More than anything, I don’t want to antagonize the families of the victims,” Munday said, adding later: “If the family members feel it hinders rather than helps advocacy efforts on this issue, there’s no reason for me to continue.”
He also urged supporters of the project to donate to an indigenous-led organization, or get involved in related advocacy initiatives.