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Spanish Artist Seeks To Bring Attention To The Dreadful Practice Of Stoning

ICE Graveyard 28/04/2016 Sara Elkamel

In an art piece by Madrid-based sculptor Pablo Camps, coarse rope is tied around a woman’s bust, as blood-red drops stain the white cloak covering her hair and body. Uneven blocks of marble the surround the figure. Camps seeks to use this piece -- exhibited at the San Javier Town Hall, in Murcia, Spain, until May 2 -- to draw attention to the practice of stoning.

Stoning, a practice in which stones are tossed at a person until they die, still takes place in parts of the Muslim world, including Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan. The form of execution is mostly conducted as a punishment for adultery or involvement in gay relationships. According to human rights organizations, most of the stoning victims are women.

There is no mention of stoning in the Quran, but the practice is considered a legitimate punishment for adultery under some interpretations of Sharia law.

In some Muslim countries, such as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, stoning is legal but rarely — if ever — carried out. Stoning is much more common in Somalia, particularly in areas controlled by Islamist groups such as al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the practice is illegal, but is still carried out by militants and tribal leaders.

"I got the idea after reading about the practice. What I read had a great impact on me,” Camps told HuffPost Spain. “How can such a practice be acceptable?"

Camps’ piece, which has been selected for the eighth edition of the Imagina Festival for young artists in San Javier, covers a total area of 9 square meters. Slabs of white marble are spread out around the cloaked woman, as if she has been stoned.

He explains that his original idea for the piece was more abstract, but then he switched gears and decided to create a “more realistic” artwork that “better captures the reality” of the practice.

Around the sculpture, there is a large area of yellow sand, intended, Camps says, to highlight the “silence and indifference” that shrouds the practice.

"I really wanted to convey solitude and powerlessness,” Camps says. “[The practice] shows a lack of respect for human life.”

In his research, it struck him how little attention the practice had received in the media, he said. 

“I hope this piece serves to rouse spectators from their slumber,” Camps told HuffPost Spain.

This post originally appeared on HuffPost Spain and has been translated into English and edited for clarity. 

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