Anyone passing by the Batavia Bridge at the Handelsdok can see how an old tram is being given a new look by artist Alice Martha (32). At the request of Amazone vzw, she painted the faces of nine feminist women from Ghent on the vehicle.
Four women have already taken shape on the old tram near Dok Noord. Chantal De Smet, Moniek Darge, Kati Couck and Greta Craeymeersch all contributed to feminism in their own way. For example, De Smet was one of the founders of the socialist-feminist group the Dolle Mina’s and Couck founded an abortion center in the 1980s when it was still illegal.
Alice Martha, stage name of Charlotte Dossche, will paint five more portraits in the coming month. She hopes to have the tram ready by the end of November. She received the assignment from non-profit organization Amazone, which is committed to gender equality. And Amazone started the project again after former State Secretary for Gender Equality Sarah Schlitz (Ecolo) submitted a proposal to see more women on the streets.
The project will be realized in Brussels, Charleroi and Ghent. Alice Martha was given responsibility for Ghent. “I looked into the theme and started looking for important feminist women from Ghent. Based on the information I received from the AVG and the AMSAB, among others, nine women were selected, some of whom have already died. This includes Emilie Claeys, an important advocate of women’s right to vote from the 19th century,” says Alice Martha. The tram will be made available to them by Gent Spoort. (read more below the photo)
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You can see other work by the street artist on the gates of the youth organization Broei in Nieuwland and in the Kriekenlaarstraat in the Bloemekenswijk. The artist has a background in architecture and technology.
“At the same time, I was always curious about art, mainly visual art. For me, creativity and rationality, knowledge and aesthetics go hand in hand and inspire me. I currently work a lot on portraits and the many facets that make up humanity.” Her dual stage name comes from the names of her great-grandmothers and is also a reference to those dualities.