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A Day Without Women
My Heart Project

Exhibit, Van Doren Gallery, Fabrica Aurora

by Kate Van Doren

I started taking photos of women in response to a national strike in Mexico in 2019. Un Dia Sin Mujeres (A Day Without Women) was to raise awareness about abuse of women in Mexico. I offered photos to women to use in solidarity with their ongoing protest, photos that stood for the cause.

When I started taking photos a beautiful thing began to happen. Women began telling me stories about what it means to be and feel empowered. And they began talking to their children. This opened up many meaningful, important conversations about the rights of all women.

I have also had many difficult conversations, about their trauma, with the many women brave enough to share their stories with me.

Each time I photograph someone I ask them "What do you want to say?" "What do you want to share to empower yourself and other women?" We all have the innate need to feel seen and heard. This process has been remarkable. These important conversations break down cultural barriers around women’s rights.

Un Dia Sin Mujeres aims to elevate the voices of all women, around the globe, through early intervention empowerment. It also seeks to to raise awareness about the femicide pandemic and to honor women lost due to gender-based violence.

Over the course of the last three years I have had the privilege to photograph and hold space with many women and their children. If I took your photo and you are reading this, please know that the moment with you, seeing your courage and strength, was a huge gift, and still is. Thank you for elevating your voice and the voice of women.

With all of this, I had the honor of joining the women on the board of Ser Mujer, an organization that promotes awareness and outreach against domestic violence and femicides in Mexico.

"Enough. I want a future."

"Sometimes I act like a man to protect myself."


Kate Van Doren explores human resiliency, connection, and the healing power of nature in her work. As an art therapist working in the mental health field for more than two decades, Kate offers a unique lens, cultivating connections with her inspirations to foster their stories about the human condition. "The foundation for my work is capturing the struggle and strength at the heart of the human experience."

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