hanne lydia


Marked for life. Exhibition of violence against women


The police call it "domestic disorder". When Hanne Lydia Kristoffersen draws it, it is called ‘violence against women, private violence’.


By Siw Grindaker

They are vulnerable, turning their backs to us, assuming an attitude of rejection. The drawings of women in Hanne Lydia Kristoffersen’s exhibition ‘Private violence and other unpleasant stories’ in Kunstverket in Oslo, are monumental, but all the same the women are cowed, ashamed and marked for life. They have no visible bruises, but they have the pose of the victim. - Nevertheless they are strong enough to get on in life, Kristoffersen says.


Norwegian shelters for abused women are flooded with women who have escaped from violence. – 40 000 a year. 10 000 women are treated for injuries caused by violent behaviour, 900 carry an assault alarm, and 1000 live on the run. Those facts motivated me to make the exhibition. In addition things happened close to me which made me involve myself.
Society has problems in dealing with the violence against women. The victims are moved to shelters for abused women, while the perpetrator is mostly left off the hook, she states.  Kristoffersen wants four words erased from our vocabulary. – ‘Domestic disturbance’ and ‘family tragedy’ are words that explain away the problem. It is important to talk about the violence - What is the root of the matter?


Power. A hidden war may be going on. You never make men admit that, but the war has been going on for quite a long time, and it is waged against women. It happens all over the world, in all religions and cultures and in all social groups. – All the same we hear little about the problem until something happens that has disastrous consequences? – It is close to us, but we preserve the myth about the sanctity of the home. One should not interfere in the private lives of others, so we fail to do something. Who do you address with your exhibition? – I want to say something to everybody and want more focus and dialogue on the matter. Today the victim is almost a leper. You don’t want
contact with others, and the man is locked up in his hate. Where does this hate come from?  - I believe the man’s role is too narrow. You can compare it to the potato in the micro wave oven. It is boiling inside, but on the outside everything looks all right. Men don’t know how to act in their new role and a changing society. Only a few centres of competence deal with the problem, and men talk to one another only about football and music. It is all about keeping up appearances, says Hanne Lydia Kristoffersen.





last century
the Other
I am a block
The Storm
Pizza and Death
Being mistaken
true story
northward, by the sea
panties and threats
drawings on the right
drawings that grip you
private violence
marked for life
the scarlets
various text