Why this story matters:
The award-winning movie "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" tells the story of a woman who challenges local authorities over the unsolved case of her teen daughter's murder. The locals disapprove of her billboards denouncing the police, but she is determined to keep them up.
The three-billboards formula is now being used for protests in other parts of the world, calling attention to different issues, from gun control in the USA to ceasefire in Syria.
However, critics -- in the movie and in real life -- say such efforts do not lead to change. "Those billboards aren’t gonna bring her back,” the main character's ex husband says in the film.
But when it comes to issues like victims of domestic violence in Kosovo, shootings in the United States or war in Syria, such criticism is unfair.
Billboards educate the public. They're seen by thousands of people every day. If they didn't work, they wouldn't be there. They irritate and frustrate the authorities precisely because they're effective.
Details from the story:
- The Kosovo billboards drawing attention to domestic violence were designed by the Haveit Group as protest against the murders of Diana Kastrati and Zejnepe Bytyqi, killed by their husbands.
- The billboards read: “How many more missed calls?” “Diana Kastrati” and “Zejnepe Bytyqi." Both women had reported domestic violence to the police multiple times.
- Haveit Group, a collective of four Kosovo female artists, has criticized discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community and oppression of women in Kosovo society for several years.
- In January, government-run safe houses for women and children fleeing domestic abuse closed due to lack of funding.