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Spanish women in arts form 3,000-strong #MeToo movement
OVER 3,000 women in the arts and entertainment industries in Spain have banded together to create an association to raise awareness of sexual harassment and abuse in their field.
La Caja de Pandora, or 'Pandora's Box', is Spain's answer to the #MeToo movement, according to a manifesto read out in public in the Reina Sofía art museum square in Madrid.
“We're feminist, anti-racist, anti-ableist, and inclusive of all types of diversity; organised to fight for a world free of gender violence and abuse of power,” the statement said.
La Caja de Pandora was originally set up in July in support of artist Carmen Tomé who had filed a complaint against José Javier Barba Sánchez, more commonly known as Javier Duero, for sexual abuse at the A Quemarropa arts residence in Alicante.
Since then, the group has grown from 30 or 40 women to over 3,000 as ladies in the arts began to share their grim tales of 'systematic and structural aggression, oppression, blackmail and invisibility'.
They say the entertainment and arts industries are among the worst for sexual harassment, and denounce 'gaslighting' if they attempt to report their ordeals.
Among the most recent cases to come to light affecting women in arts in Spain is 'Almodóvar Girl' Cecilia Roth (pictured), star of All About My Mother, who has just revealed she was raped by a reporter.
She was living in Madrid at the time and says the attack was 'not strictly in a professional context' but that it had taken her until now to speak out about it.
Buenos Aires-born Cecilia, 61, does not even remember the abuser's name or what his face looked like as she had 'totally blanked it out', but says it was 'quite clearly a rape' since 'when a woman says no, it means no'.
But it was 'extremely difficult to come to terms with', since the rapist was someone she knew well.
“I was in a very low point in my life; my boyfriend had just dumped me, I was feeling dreadful; this man was more a friend of my boyfriend's than of mine.
“He said 'come to my place and we'll have a chat', and that was where it happened,” Roth admitted in an interview on TV in her native Argentina.
“I was almost certainly afraid he'd say that I'd led him on or that if I hadn't wanted to, it wouldn't have happened.”
Cecilia's long career in Latin American and Spanish film includes a string of Almodóvar productions such as Labyrinth of passions (1982), What have I done to deserve this? (1984), Talk to her (2002), and I'm so excited (2013).
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