Museum cancels slain/missing women exhibit

Jan. 13, 2011 at 1:22 PM   |   Comments

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- A popular British Columbia museum has canceled an exhibit depicting missing and murdered women from Vancouver after protests from women's groups.

The University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology said Wednesday "The Forgotten," the 69-painting exhibit by Vancouver artist Pamela Masik, will not be appearing at the facility as scheduled, the Vancouver Province reported Thursday.

Museum director Anthony Shelton said officials did not have time for "developing the appropriate methodology" for the show by bringing collaborating groups to create side-exhibits, such as films.

"We wanted it to be a catalyst for all kinds of other events around it," Shelton said.

He said officials also worried the exhibit "would kind of create greater suffering among the families" of missing and murdered women.

Shelton would not comment on whether protests from women's or American Indian groups contributed to the decision, the newspaper said. Up to half of the women depicted in the 69 paintings are believed to have been American Indians and six of them were the work of convicted serial killer Robert Pickton.

"'The Forgotten' does nothing to stop the violence against women in this community. It exoticizes them and turns them into commodities to promote the 'Masik brand,'" Corinthia Kelly, an organizer of the annual Women's Memorial March in the Downtown Eastside, wrote in an e-mail to Sheldon.

Masik said she is searching for a new venue for the exhibit.

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