London-based cinematographer Molly Manning Walker frequently uses her work as a way to speak about social and political injustices. In 2017, she released a gritty, moving short film on the unjust sentences of graffiti artists titled More Hate than Fear. In 2016, she took a more surrealist approach, collaborating with Frank LeBon to produce LEAD, which explores a murder through the lens of a cat who witnessed it. Now, Walker is turning her attention to combating the stigma around rape with her upcoming short film Dark is Her Shadow – but she needs your help to make it happen.
Dark is Her Shadow will follow Amy, a 16-year-old girl who is just trying to resume her life, as she is passed from authority to authority with no guidance, and the ghost of her rapist turns up to haunt her. “When I was 16 I was raped, and what I felt was that people couldn't handle the word,” reveals Walker. “If you wanted to talk about it people, would shut down. I began to question how you were meant to recover from this trauma if everyone avoided the topic. I’m making this film to prevent people losing eye contact or asking what you were wearing when you say you’ve been raped.”
In order to raise money for the film, Walker has arranged a 30-day auction, commencing August 29, that will sell the work of 30 female artists from around the globe including photographic prints, paintings, illustrations and poetry, across multiple social themes. Works start from as little as £25, and one work a day will be presented on Walker’s Instagram for bidding, where the winner will then be directed to donate via a Kickstarter page.
The auction features photographer Eliza Hatch, who will submit a print from her Cheer Up Luvseries – a combination of photos and interviews of women who have been victims of street harassment. The series’ relatability has had a huge impact on social media, and for the auction Hatch submits a street portrait of a subject called Leyla. “I started experiencing harassment when I was 12 in my school uniform,” Leyla tells the project. “I avoided my town’s high street for years because I‘d get shouted at by middle-aged men in vans. One time I was walking home from Tesco, and a group of men outside a pub started aggressively catcalling me. I pretended not to hear and carried on walking. One of the men jumped out in front of me and started doing monkey impressions. They were all in hysterics.”
Rachel Louise Hodgson, an illustrator from Brighton, will also feature in the auction with a submission that explores the idea of death. The child-like, fluoro purple risograph features an absurdist figure, underneath a slogan that reads “baby got me looking so scary”, inspired by Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love”. “I want to push against this concept of having to become an adult,” says Rachel.
30 Days 30 Female artists will commence on 29 August on Walker's Instagram here