Images always speak louder than words

Fiodor Silenkov wins UNiTE to End Violence against Women competition, going to UN headquarters in New York to receive his award

By Yelena Timofeyeva

“I learnt about the competition two days before the deadline for submissions. I thought over the idea, then spent the whole night drawing my design. I sent it in just two hours before closing,” notes Fiodor.

The jury spent a month viewing submissions, with social networks used to attract attention to the contest and the problem of domestic violence. Fiodor uploaded a video clip on his Internet page, where the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls on to knock at a door where a woman’s shouts are heard and ask the time. This simple yet efficient action can interrupt the violence, giving the woman the opportunity to run away.

Fiodor’s work, called A Fragile Woman, proved popular. He would rather that people drew their own conclusions on the topic, explaining, “The greatest results are seen when a person grasps the meaning independently. They then feel that they’ve arrived at the idea themselves. This gives satisfaction and is more likely to be remembered. Most advertisements, including social ads, use this principle. Initially, I had no thought of winning, as there were too many applications: 385 in all. I just liked the idea that the other entrants and I were raising awareness of domestic violence.”

Minsk’s Institute of Management, where Fiodor is a fourth year student of ‘interior design’, is very proud of his win but won’t make concessions regarding his end-of-semester exams.  Fiodor’s design currently only exists in electronic form but he hopes to soon see it appear on a T-shirt.

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