“Cheer up love!” “Give us a smile.” “Alright sexy?”

If vomit just made its way up your throat, you’re not alone. Far from harmless banter, screaming at a woman from across the street telling her what to do is a form of street harassment — and it’s still legal in the UK. It’s also far from uncommon with around 97% of women in the UK having been sexually harassed.

Sexual harassment is part of a much bigger picture and feeds a spectrum of gender violence. While abuse, rape, and murder might seem like they’re miles apart from a “harmless catcall,” they exist on the same continuum.

Having experienced cat-calling herself, photographer and gender rights activist, Eliza Hatch, took the “cheer up” catcall and turned it on its head, metamorphosing it into a platform that aims to give power back to people who have experienced sexual and street harassment by documenting them in the settings where they were harassed or cat-called.

Since its inception in 2017, Cheer Up Luv has won awards, been exhibited worldwide, and covered by the likes of the BBC and Gurls Talk. It’s also blossomed into a creative community space for women and people of marginalised genders to reclaim their voices on a taboo subject, and a multimedia platform that facilitates a podcast, art, design, workshops, and lectures.

Around the same time, queer illustrator and multidisciplinary creative Bee Illustrates began posting their own artwork on Instagram — sharing distinctive, quirky illustrations paired with short educational essays on a range of important topics such as feminism, mental health, and queerness.

Read the full article about feminist art by Tess Lowery at Global Citizen.