#NotAskingForIt. A West Indian Photographer Hits Back at Claims That Carnival Costumes Cause Sexual Assault.

Not Asking For It, Fiona Compton

Earlier this year, the murder of Asami Nagakiya in Trindad, during Carnival season, sent shockwaves through the country. The story of her death became amplified after a statement by then Port of Spain Mayor Tim Kee, addressing her death. Nagakiya, a steel pan player and Japanese national, had come to the country to partake in Carnival festivities. Mayor Kee claimed that her choice of costume lead to her untimely death.

“Women have a responsibility to ensure they are not abused during the Carnival season,” Kee said. “It’s a matter of, if she was still in her costume – I think that’s what I heard – let your imagination roll.”

Kee’s statement sparked outrage, eventually forcing him to resign. Despite his choice to step down, however, the sting of his comments and the culture that birthed them still remains. All over the world, there are men and women alike who see no problem with Kee’s comments.

London-based photographer Fiona Compton created #NotAskingForIt to address the global epidemic of rape culture and the frequent shaming and blaming of women for their own assaults.

Compton, who is of Saint Lucian descent, uses a variety of media, including videos, music pieces, and photo diaries to feature the stories of women. She hopes to aid in dismantling the culture of victim blaming. The #NotAskingForIt also brings men into the conversation and offers resources for victims.

For more information visit www.notaskingforit.com.

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