For almost fifteen years, The Pixel Project has worked at the intersection of social media, pop culture, the Arts, journalism, activism, and new technologies to shine a light on the the many ways violence against women (VAW) affects the lives of women and girls in communities and cultures worldwide.

When we first began conducting interviews, we focused on blog interviews, which remain one of the major pillars of our social media-driven advocacy and educational work. As we grew as an anti-VAW organisation, our ever-expanding efforts to provide multiple platforms for people from all walks of life to speak out about VAW meant that we started including livestream interviews on YouTube, which also help activists, allies, and survivors tell their stories and share their ideas with others first-hand.

In 2023, we marched on with our annual interview-format blogging campaigns and livestream series:

  • Our long-running monthly Inspirational Interview series highlighting the excellent but little-known work of many anti-VAW activists and organisations from around the world.
  • The Voices of Dads Against VAW interview series, the continuation of our “30 For 30” series – a platform for dads worldwide to speak out about sexism, misogyny, and violence against women in the gaming community and industry.
  • The Read For Pixels interviews featuring in-depth livestream interviews with authors taking part in our Read For Pixels campaign.

Together, these interviews form a striking tapestry of ideas, stories, and calls-to-action from remarkable individuals, communities, and allies that are at the front lines of bringing the change that is so desperately needed to end VAW.

If you have missed any of our blog interview campaigns this year or are new to The Pixel Project’s work, this selection of this year’s 16 best Pixel Project blog and livestream interviews will be a great starting point. As with last year’s selection, this year’s list will include a range of our livestreamed interviews on YouTube during which authors, advocates, and activists speak eloquently and thoughtfully about VAW and what can be done about it. We hope that the stories we share motivate you to join the effort to end VAW.

It’s time to stop violence against women. Together.

Introduction by Regina Yau. Written and compiled by Regina Yau.

Inspired to support The Pixel Project’s anti-violence against women work? Make a donation to us today OR buy the audiobook edition of our 1st charity anthology, Giving The Devil His Due OR buy our 1st poetry collection, Under Her Eye. All donations and net proceeds from audiobook sales go towards supporting our campaigns, programmes, and initiatives.

Pixel Project Interview Selection #1: Inspirational Interview – Amrita S Nair – Lawyer, Activist, Founder, and Editor-In-Chief, The Silent Sexism Project – India

Amrita S. Nair is an activist, lawyer, and the founder of The Silent Sexism Project (TSSP) and the ‘Intersectional Feminist Magazine’. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles, and child abuse as roots of violence, as well as non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organising movements across boundaries for peace and justice. When speaking about effective ways to tackle VAW, she talked about the work that TSSP does: “We have conducted sex education classes in colleges and schools which include discussing difficult subjects such as rape and domestic violence. This has impacted and brought about a significant change in the mindset of people. Education, awareness, and dialogue are key components to facilitate change and we are constantly working in that direction.


Pixel Project Interview Selection #2: Inspirational Interview – Aparna Mittal, Founder, The Samāna Centre for Gender, Policy and Law – India

Aparna Mittal is the Founder of Samāna Centre for Gender, Policy and Law, a global consultancy focused on equality and inclusion for all segments of diversity and with a specialisation in gender and LGBTQ inclusion. She brings a unique perspective of multi-themed advisory work spanning across workplace diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI), impact investing, environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and anti-discrimination/harassment (including anti-sexual harassment) frameworks. When asked about how people can support stopping VAW, she said: “I strongly believe that each person has a sphere of influence where they can play a role in contributing to this area. Whether it is at work, or at schools, or even the larger neighbourhoods, civil society, and ecosystem of life, there is always something one can do to push the needle forward on matters of substantive equality, equity and inclusion, and also to create more collective awareness and impact about issues of gender-based violence and its mitigation.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #3: Inspirational Interview – Azza Soliman, Founder, Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA) – Egypt

Azza Soliman is an Egyptian lawyer and women’s human rights defender with over 25 years’ experience in the field of Human Rights and development alongside her expertise as a trainer in the field of human rights concepts, women’s human rights and gender equality. She works on changing personal status law for Muslims and non-Muslims. She also trained governmental and non-governmental bodies on writing the national and shadow reports on CEDAW. When asked how VAW can be eradicated, she said: “Through legislating laws that eliminate violence against women and having a consistency between legal codes and the supreme goal of ending violence against women; through more awareness and engagement from various stakeholders, like media professionals and lawyers, in talking about the symptoms and roots of violence against women.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #4: Read For Pixels Interview – C.S.E Cooney and Carlos Hernandez – United States of America

C. S. E. Cooney (Claire) is a World Fantasy Award-winning author. Her books include Saint Death’s Daughter and Desdemona and the Deep as well as the poetry collection How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, which includes her Rhysling Award-winning poem “The Sea King’s Second Bride.” Carlos Hernandez is the award-winning, NYT bestselling author of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe, The Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria, and many shorter works of SFF. He’s also an English Professor and game designer. During their very lively Read For Pixels livestream session, this dynamic feminist husband-and-wife duo spoke eloquently about sexism, misogyny, and VAW in their books and pop culture. When discussing how authors can use their writing to help raise awareness about VAW, Claire (C.S.E.) said: “For those of us whose goal is to raise awareness of violence, then maybe not making [fear and violence] sexy is one way to do it, or to discuss in the book the difference between consent, or to discuss, like, ‘I don’t mind enacting this fantasy with you, but truthfully, what I really value in a partner is somebody to cook tacos with’. I feel there’s room in fantasy to have that discussion on page.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #5: Inspirational Interview – Dr Charlotte Proudman – United Kingdom

Dr. Charlotte Proudman is an award-winning barrister specialising in violence against women and girls and a research associate at the University of Cambridge. She is also the founder of the not-for-profit organisation Right to Equality. Dr Proudman talked about what needs to be done to end VAW, saying: “Ending violence against women and girls requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the root causes of this pervasive issue. We need to work towards a cultural shift that challenges harmful gender norms and stereotypes, and creates a society where gender equality is fully realised. This means empowering women and girls, promoting their rights, and ensuring that they have access to the support they need to come forward and seek justice. They will only come forward if the justice system properly reflects their lived realities and they have confidence in it.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #6: Inspirational Interview – Dr Lina AbiRafeh  – Global

Lina AbiRafeh, PhD is a global women’s rights expert and humanitarian aid worker with 25 years of experience in over 20 countries. She advises a range of organisations, including the Arab Institute for Women, where she served as Executive Director for seven years. Lina speaks on global stages and publishes frequently. She has received awards for her work, including a Vital Voices fellowship and a Women in Power fellowship. Dr AbiRafeh spoke about what can be done to get men and boys to help end VAW: “We need to start early – basic education on bodily autonomy and integrity, on concepts like consent. This is critical and needs to be infused in messaging in schools and at home. Excusing the violent behavior of boys is not acceptable, and beliefs such as ‘boys will be boys’ must be eradicated. For adult men, conversations around gender roles and responsibilities, family and fatherhood, and so on, have contributed to changing attitudes and practices – albeit slowly.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #7: Inspirational Interview – Elizabeth Dartnall, Executive Director, The Sexual Violence Research Initiative – South Africa

Elizabeth Dartnall is a health specialist with over 20 years’ research and policy-making experience on health systems, mental health, violence against women and violence against children. Since 2006, Liz has managed the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) and recently, with the support of multiple partners, launched SVRI as an independent NGO. During her interview with The Pixel Project, she said: “No one organisation, individual, institution can end VAW on their own – we must have strong multi-sectoral partnerships pulling in one direction – with the common goal of ending violence being the strongest thing that drives us. This work must be led by strong feminist leadership, driven by principles around equity, ethics, human rights, inclusion and diversity and grounded in a cooperative and nurturing field where collaboration, care, kindness and support are key.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #8: Inspirational Interview – Irina Matvienko, Founder, NeMolchi – Uzbekistan

Irina Matvienko is the founder and chief executive officer of (Don’t Be Silent Uzbekistan). Started in 2017, is the first non-profit media platform to tackle gender-based violence and violence against women and girls, and raise awareness about gender equality, women’s rights, routes and causes of violence, and victim-blaming in Uzbekistan’s society. When talking about what needs to be done to stop VAW, she said: “To finally defeat violence against women, it is necessary to work in parallel on several fronts. With the involvement of civil society and the general public, work on changes in legislation and official protection mechanisms. Raise awareness of the causes and consequences of violence, and work with the public consciousness, reinforcing zero tolerance for violence. And the last, not obvious direction should be work with those who have already experienced violence, providing them with access to rehabilitation and protection.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #9: Read For Pixels Interview – Karen Odden – United States of America

USA Today bestselling author Karen Odden received her PhD in English from NYU, writing her dissertation on Victorian literature, and taught at UW-Milwaukee before writing fiction. Her mysteries are set in 1870s London. Her fifth, Under a Veiled Moon (2023), features Michael Corravan, a former thief turned Scotland Yard Inspector. During her Read For Pixels session, Karen talked about sexism, misogyny, and violence against women, and toxic masculinity within the context of both the historical crime/mystery genre and Victorian history. When asked about what authors can do to stop VAW, she said: “We can certainly use our platform to speak up about it and participate in programmes such as [Read For Pixels]. In our writings […] there are a lot of different ways at the level of symbol and theme and plot and structure of books that we can show women confronting – at a very deep level – things like patriarchy and disempowerment and disenfranchisement. I think that’s the kind of work that novels can do.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #10: Inspirational Interview – Kelsie Joseph, Founder, Catcalls of University of the West Indies – Trinidad, and Tobago

Kelsie Joseph is a feminist activist, organiser and chalk artist with IGDS Ignite, a student-led feminist club of The Institute for Gender and Development Studies (IGDS) at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Trinidad. She is the Co-Founder and Project-Lead of Catcalls of UWI and the Education Lead for Chalk Back. She spoke about how men and boys can help stop VAW, saying: “[The] narrative has to change to hold men and boys accountable for their participation in VAW. Men and boys must listen to our lived experiences, be willing to unlearn these harmful learned behaviours, and join us in the movement to end VAW. Most importantly, men and boys must stop blaming women for the violence they experience but hold themselves and their peers accountable for their involvement.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #11: Inspirational Interview – Khrystyna Kit, Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association (JurFem) – Ukraine 

Khrystyna Kit is the founder and chairwoman of the Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association “JurFem.” She is a lawyer, human rights defender working with cases of gender-based violence – in particular sexual violence – expert group coordinator on conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) at the Prosecutor General’s Office, and co-author of educational and training programmes for legal communities on the topic of sexual violence, including Conflict Related Sexual Violence (CSRV). When talking about how VAW can be eradicated, she said: “I’m not sure we can stop violence against women forever. What we can do and are responsible for is the creation of an effective system of countermeasures and protection, safe cities and infrastructure, and an effective response system that women and girls can trust.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #12: Inspirational Interview – Maanda Ngoitiko, Executive Director, Pastoral Women’s Council – Tanzania

Maanda Ngoitiko is co-founder and Executive Director of the Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) in Tanzania. As a Maasai woman and grassroots leader, she has been instrumental in increasing the agency of tens of thousands of indigenous pastoralist and agro-pastoralist women and girls to know and exercise their rights. She is recipient of the Paul K. Feyerabend Prize and was nominated for The Guardian International Development Achievement Award. When speaking about why she joined the movement to end VAW, she said: “When my own sister was forced out of school to get married, I took her place. I went to school with 28 male students and only 1 other girl. Sadly, she was also beaten and forced into early marriage. I realised that this was my life prospect and decided that as a community we needed to change. This is what inspired me to dedicate my life to defend our rights as women, and subsequently to co-found Pastoral Women’s Council.


Pixel Project Interview Selection #13: Read For Pixels Interview – Naomi Hirahara – United States of America

Naomi Hirahara is an Edgar Award-winning author of multiple traditional mystery series. Her first historical mystery is Clark and Division, which won a Mary Higgins Clark award. A former journalist with The Rafu Shimpo newspaper, Naomi has also written numerous non-fiction history books and a middle-grade novel, 1001 Cranes. During her Read For Pixels session in March 2023, Naomi spoke extensively in her capacity as both an author and a historian about sexism, misogyny, VAW, and toxic masculinity within the context of history, genre, and race. When asked about what she thought authors can do to help tackle the issue of violence against women, she said: “As an author, it’s just to tell our stories. And since so many of my stories are based on history, it’s like reshaping our paradigm because I think the things that we’ve absorbed are actually untrue. And I think if we are better able to embrace all the generations of women throughout history, I think it will give us a larger sense and it will help us to stand even stronger.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #14: Inspirational Interview – Pamela Cross, Feminist Lawyer, Women’s Advocate, and Advocacy Director at Luke’s Place – Canada

Pamela Cross is a feminist lawyer and expert on violence against women and the law known for her award-winning work as a researcher, writer, educator and trainer. She works with women’s equality and VAW organisations across Canada, including Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre in Durham Region, Ontario, where she is the Advocacy Director. When talking about how VAW could be ended for good, she said: “Both boys and girls need to be taught from a very young age about misogyny and sexism, women’s ongoing inequality, non-violent conflict resolution, and constructive communication. All our voices are needed: all genders, all ages, survivors, those who have caused harm and those who are in positions of power in the systems that need improving. All of us need to call out sexism and misogyny every time we see or hear it. We need to support prevention work as well as services to support survivors and perpetrators, until we eradicate VAW for good.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #15: Fathers Against VAW Interview – Rich Samalin – United States of America

Rich Samalin was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He is a classically trained bass player, recording engineer, composer, and more. He currently works as the sole audio engineer to George Guidall, heralded as the top audiobook voice-over artist today. He is married to muralist and painter Lisa Samalin, and they have two sons Matt and Joe, one grandson Oliver, and two cats. When speaking to The Pixel Project about how he broke the cycle of domestic violence after growing up with an abusive father, he said: “My brother and I both survived and helped create much better families than the one we inhabited for the first years of our lives. We both wonderfully found the arts. I have always felt my father’s negative intentions within myself – learned patterns. I have fought against them my entire life, especially in my relationships with women, since I left home as a teenager.”


Pixel Project Interview Selection #16: Inspirational Interview – Tunggal Pawestri, Director, Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial – Indonesia

Tunggal Pawestri is the Executive Director of the Humanist and Social Innovation Foundation, a Jakarta-based organisation with a focus on Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Civic Rights in the Digital Age, and Climate Justice in the Southeast Asia region. In addition to her work with the foundation, she serves as a Steering Committee Member of VOICE, an innovative grant facility providing support to rightsholder groups including female victims of violence. During her interview with The Pixel Project, she said: “Putting an end to violence against women (VAW) is a complex and multifaceted challenge that needs a comprehensive and long-term approach. There are no quick fixes, and we need to involve different stakeholders to overcome this issue.”


Photo Credits:

  1. Amrita S. Nair – Courtesy of The Silent Sexism Project
  2. Aparna Mittal – Courtesy of The Samāna Centre for Gender, Policy and Law
  3. Azza Soliman – Courtesy of Azza Soliman
  4. C.S.E. Cooney – Courtesy of C.S.E. Cooney
  5. Dr Charlotte Proudman – Courtesy of Dr Charlotte Proudman
  6. Dr Lina AbiRafeh – Courtesy of Dr Lina AbiRafeh
  7. Elizabeth Dartnall – Courtesy of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative
  8. Irina Matvienko – Courtesy of NeMolchi
  9. Karen Odden – Courtesy of Karen Odden
  10. Kelsie Joseph – Courtesy of Kelsie Joseph
  11. Khrystyna Kit – Courtesy of JurFem
  12. Maanda Ngoitiko – Courtesy of Pastoral Women’s Council
  13. Naomi Hirahara – Courtesy of Naomi Hirahara
  14. Pamela Cross – Courtesy of Pamela Cross
  15. Rich Samalin – Courtesy of Rich Samalin
  16. Tunggal Pawestri – Courtesy of Yayasan Humanis dan Inovasi Sosial