Feminist masks

“Scales, feathers, sequins and pearls adorn their colorful heads. Hundreds of them. Some alone, others in packs. They are all different, but their demand is singular: stop killing women, stop raping them, allow women to partake in the creation of the new constitution. These are the masked feminists.

Using masks was the norm in 1980s Chile, by armed leftist groups facing the dictatorship. Masks were a symbol of resistance, revolution and insurrection. In the 90’s, when democracy returned, these groups lost momentum, but the masks remained, often as a symbol in student movements. Mask-wearing eventually became associated with criminality, largely because of young masked men who would barricade themselves and throw rocks at police.

But today the garment has become an increasingly practical way of hiding one’s identity to avoid police persecution. It also acts as a barrier—although a weak one—to offset the effects of tear gas that the police throw from their cars.”