Los Zapatos Rojos (The Red Shoes) is a collaborative art installation designed by Mexican artist Elina Chauvet.
It involves laying out hundreds of pairs of red shoes in an iconic city location to represent women around the world who have lost their lives to gender-based violence.
The shoes must be donated, can be originally red or painted red and are laid out a body length apart.
First hosted in Mexico in 2009, Los Zapatos Rojos has since been replicated in Norway, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Spain, Ecuador, United States, Canada, Brazil and Africa.
This incredible project debuted in Australia as part of the annual 16 Days in WA – Stop Violence Against Women campaign with an activation at the WA Museum Boola Bardip from Sunday 27 November to Thursday 1 December 2022.
Red Shoes Australia was created from 392 pairs of red women’s shoes representing the total number of women murdered in Australia between 2015 and 2020 (Australian Criminal Intelligence National Homicide Monitoring Program – 2015 to 2020.)
This year, Red Shoes Australia will be replicated in Kalgoorlie-Boulder for this year’s 16 Days in WA, from Saturday 25 November to Sunday 10 December.
Artist Elina Chauvet
Elina Chauvet is an architect and visual artist born in Casas Grandes Chihuahua – one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico.
She first put together Los Zaptos Rojos in Ciudad Juárez in 2009 with 33 pairs of shoes donated by the community when her 32-year-old sister was murdered by her husband.
Elina chose shoes because they are one of the most common items used to identify murdered women and they remind her of the relationship with her sister, as they wore the same size.
She chose the colour red because it symbolises the ‘blood that unites us’ as well as love and hope’.
Since then the Red Shoes installation has become a travelling artwork carrying a powerful message of social change and symbolising the awareness of the absence of women who are murdered for being women.
Elina is pleased to be collaborating with Dr Paola Magni to bring the Red Shoes to Australia for the first time in November 2022.
"Violence against women has no borders or social status and affects all women equally."
Ambassador Dr Paola Magni
Several years ago leading Australian forensic scientist, Dr Paola Magni, stumbled across an incredible public art installation made entirely of red shoes in her Italian hometown of Turin.
Deeply moved by the story behind Los Zapatos Rojos, Paola began wearing a pair of red stilettos at public speaking engagements.
It is a powerful statement of her determination to seek better justice outcomes for victims of femicide and their families.
With one woman now losing their life to gender-based violence in Australia every week, Paola has collaborated with artist Elina Chauvet to bring the power of the Los Zapatos Rojos message to the country she now calls home.