Using the tools of his trade, Miklós Kiss, an award-winning, Budapest-based designer and artist, wanted to make a visual statement against the profound discrimination and abuse women suffer, often in silence, simply because of their gender. So he created Silent Consent, a powerful contemporary art series featuring 11 images of women from all over the world, whose lips silently say “yes” because they don’t feel they should or can say “no.”
In his artist’s statement, Miklós explains, “Many women are discriminated and abused because of their gender. The violent acts committed against them can be verbal, emotional, physical, sexual or economic and they are much more common than expected – and it happens more often than we know about it.” He adds, “Most of these cases are never reported to the authorities, and the media isn’t informed – it remains unnoticed. Many women feel like they do not have another option but to silently endure.”
Miklós says the resulting “silent consent” becomes “a painful everyday routine,” something that’s “hiding on their lips, dishonest and invisible.” So through a series of stunning images, the talented 34-year-old’s mission was to make this “silent consent” visible.
He achieved that by symbolically placing the word “yes” in Arabic, Portuguese (Brazil), Chinese, French, German, Hungarian, Hebrew, Japanese, Spanish (Mexico), Russian, and English (USA & UK) on the tightly closed lips of 11 different women, driving home the point that “nobody has ever showed them how to say no.”
“It sends a clear message to the world – saying no is not a privilege for a few but a choice for everyone.”
“This artwork is fighting for these women,” Miklós shares. “It wants to raise awareness that all women should have the freedom of choice – despite their traditions, religions and moral dogmas.” His ultimate goal is to send a very clear message to the world: “Saying no is not a privilege for a few but a choice for everyone.”
To further illustrate the global pervasiveness of this issue, each woman’s lips features the colors of the flags of the country she represents, and the respective fonts used were created by a designer, font studio or firm from that same country. In an email interview, Miklós told WYSK that several of the fonts were designed by women.