Blood Rising Documentary Screening • Brian Maguire - Without Borders

Blood Rising

"Blood Rising" documents the stories of femicide victims and their families in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico through the paintings of Brian Maguire.

About this Event
This screening of "Blood Rising" will be through a private Vimeo link, distributed by email on Friday, July 17 at 5PM. The video will be available for screening through Sunday, July 19 at 10PM.
You must register before 5PM on July 17 to receive the video link.

The mothers of the femicide victims of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, have been abandoned by the authorities in their quest for justice—they have engaged the artist Brian Maguire to bring their stories to the international community. Art has become the last weapon available to them to fight the drug cartels and serial killers. Only 2% of these murder cases have been investigated and many of the mothers have themselves received death threats for simply demanding justice.

The mothers and families of the femicide victims of Juarez have bravely chosen to openly express their emotions through the work of the artist Brian Maguire as a last resort to find justice—for Brian, it is a means of exploring how he can provide a voice for the mothers and a deeper understanding of their personal grief through his artworks.

Brian Maguire spent 3 years working in Juarez on and off between 2010 and 2012. He spent time with the mothers of the victims gaining their trust and learning from their own experiences. From these meetings he painted a picture of the murdered person in his studio in El Paso, offering a deep sense of their spirit and personality and celebrating their life. After a period of time he returned to the family or friends and presented the painting to them. He then painted a much larger work. These paintings are being used in a series of international exhibitions, the first of these was in the centre of the European Parliament in September 2012. The film has been screened in many countries and a number of University tours have taken place in the US, UK and Ireland.

The narrative revolves around two central stories of Elia and her murdered daughter Erika and Bertha Alicia and her disappeared daughter Brenda, tracing the final hours of their lives in detail. From this central strand we move in and out of the emotionally fueled worlds of other mothers who have lost their daughters. Brian moves through these locations and maps the stories of the innocent young women who have lost their lives. His journeys take him from studio to body dumps, to poor barrios, to the dangerous streets of the city centre, to other people who are inextricably connected to the story and back to the studio, always seeking a deeper meaning and understanding. It is also a very personal journey for Brian who has been entrusted by the mothers to produce art at a level which will speak in a provocative voice to the international community about the wanton destruction that has been visited upon their lives. Together they are fighting a battle for justice.

Blood Rising is a celebration of beauty through art and a revelation of the power of the human spirit to rise out of the most extreme and destructive situations. Its role is to honor the spirit and energy of the dead and to contextualize and understand the destruction of these lives and the mark it has left on the community.

Directed by Mark McLoughlin.

Related events