Video showing 'a year in the life of battered woman' shocks Serbia


Screen grab from the video, below. 


A video showing a woman’s face gradually succumbing to brutal injuries after allegedly being beaten by a man has shocked Serbia. Although Internet users have questioned the authenticity of the injuries, and suspect the video may actually be part of a public education campaign, it nonetheless has gotten people in Serbia talking about violence perpetrated against women.


The video, titled “A photograph a day during the worst year of my life”, shows 365 photos of a woman’s face. At the beginning, her face is radiant, but as the video progresses, her face is gradually marked by bruises, swelling, scratches and signs of strangulation. At the end, the young woman holds up a piece of paper saying: “Help me. I don’t know if I can hold on until tomorrow.” The video’s style, composition and soundtrack mimic a video by the American photographer Noah Kalina, who took a photo of himself everyday for six years.



The video was uploaded to YouTube under the name “fero061982”. However, according to the site B92, which reposted the video, the person who uploaded it couldn’t be reached, and none of Serbia’s women’s rights organisations have been able to confirm the video’s authenticity. In addition, it appears the dramatic injuries may be the result of clever make-up rather than actual injuries. There are also questions about the young woman’s intentions: if the dramatic injuries were indeed the result of brutal domestic violence, would she really have taken a photo every day and called for help via a video? In the comments below the video, many Internet users suggest the video is more likely part of a stealth public education campaign.


In any case, the video has highlighted the problem of domestic violence in Serbia. In 2012, according to the Aid centre for domestic violence, 29 women died as a result of domestic violence. The centre says 5,440 women came to them for help in 2012, up from 3,964 in 2011. A study conducted in December 2010 by the Serbian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy found more than half of Serbian women (54.2%) reported being victims of violence, 90% of which were perpetrated by men.