Public Voice

Creator: Dora Bartilotti / Collaborator: Leonardo Aranda

Public Voice


Tactical mediation and participatory art piece that seeks to amplify de protest against gender violence in the urban context of Latin America. The project is made up of three parts working together: First, an online participation platform (www.vozpublica.cc), where women/non-binary people can share personal stories of gender violence, in a textual and anonymous way. The second part is an electronic textile that “give voice and amplifies” this stories through a voice synthesizer, giving them physical presence in the public space. This textile takes as visual reference the Latin American textile tradition, and graphics related to activist and feminist struggle. The electronic part of the textile consists of an embedded computing system, conductive threat and an array of micro-speakers.  The third part of the project, consists of a series of artistic urban Laboratories called “The Textile Rebellion”. These Laboratories aim to be convivial spaces for reflection and exchange of knowledge, as well as the appropriation and collaborative creation of electronic textiles based on the initial prototype. The ultimate goal of these laboratories is to generate collective performative actions to activate these devices in public spaces with a high rate of gender violence, such as parks, squares, streets and public transportation.


From a commitment to creative activism, Voz Pública is inserted in the context of feminist protest and struggle with the intention of being a ‘voicing and amplifying’ mechanism, as a form of denunciation and collective demand to recover our right to the city.


The project takes place in the current context of Latin America, in which different forms of machismo (sexism) prevail. Just in Mexico, 10 women are murdered every day. Faced with this, and a lack of response and mechanisms to address the problem, provided by the state, multiple feminist initiatives and groups have taken to the streets to protest, and it is in this context that Voz Pública operates. The intention of the project is to be a ‘voicing and amplifying’ mechanism for those voices that have remained neutralized as a result of a society that still discriminates against women/non-binary people, a society that makes invisible the violence that crosses us, as a complaint and collective demand to recover our right to the city.


Voz Pública appropriates of the digital platforms as forms for anonymous and ubiquitous participation, of the textile as a ‘voicing and amplifier‘ mechanism to interrupt in the ears of the urban, as well of the creative rebellions as other ways to politically create and activate public space.


The project seeks to catalyze spaces for listening, agency, creation, as well as the occupation of spaces “to be together” and make ourselves visible from our own voices and narratives, outside of the institutional abstractions and with our own creative tactics and resistance tools. A space whose approach tries to open a broader notion about what we understand by technology, placing conviviality first, instead of efficiency. With this objective, Public Voice proposes an artisanal technofeminism, based on the principle of Do it With Others (DIWO), electronic crafts and handmade textile experimentation, which allow temporalities to weave and invent the Technology of “being together”, of recognizing our body as our first territory of struggle, but also as our first technology of resistance.


In this sense, Voz Pública appropriates textile technologies, on the one hand, to give physical presence through sound to those stories that have previously been shared by the project participants. On the other hand, as a way of linking these stories to a sense of corporeality. In other words, embody the stories and let them get under your own skin. In this way, by making use of textile devices, the project alludes to the body as a form of occupation of the urban space. 


In summary, Voz Pública proposes an ensemble of corporal, spatial, temporal and material meanings that are interwoven from its formal development to the participatory dynamics and collaborative practices that shape it. In other words, Voz Pública seeks to string together voices to immerse us in the threads of his narratives, catalyze encounter spaces to embroider collective resistance, and in this way, weave actions in the warp of the public that amplify the protest through our “voicing” bodies.

Credits of the piece

Project by: Dora Bartilotti

[Original idea and conceptualization, textile design and production, graphic and web interface design, design and teaching of Laboratories, textile programming and electronics]

Collaborators: Leonardo Aranda

[Web and electronic programming] 

More information: https://www.dorabartilotti.com/voz-publica/

Dora Bartilotti

Mexico city, Mexico.

Dora Ytzell Bartilotti Bigurra (Veracruz, Mexico, 1988)

I´m a Latin american, feminist and multimedia artist from Mexico. Through my projects I seek to generate critical dialogues between art, design, pedagogy and technology in order to catalyze conversations about possible forms of organization, intervention and micropolitical action in public space. I´m part of Medialabmx where I direct the projects Voz Pública and Costurero Electrónico, in which I explores the materiality of textiles and electronics as tactical means for feminist activism and collective action. My work has been featured in Mexico, UK, Canada, Brazil, and Colombia.


  • Asa Ito
    Director, Future of Humanity Research Center, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology

    Pain, by nature, is something that cannot be separated from the body that feels it. However in this work, with the power of technology, the pain was detached from a specific body, and has become something that can be worn by another person in the form of clothing. The wonderful thing is that, as a result, it is possible to have "demonstrations by individuals possessed by others" rather than "demonstrations by a group of individuals". Generally speaking, group demonstrations tend to lose the diversity of stories that each individual carries in order to put forth simple slogans. The "talking clothes" however, are designed to create a strong visual impact while at the same time conveying the personal story directly to society. It was also impressive that people who witnessed the demonstration came personally and physically close to the clothes to listen to their voices. Furthermore, there are many hands involved in the process of making clothes. One could see that even the unvoiced thoughts were put into the textiles. Above all, the people participating in the project seem to be having a lot of fun. It was wonderful to see the lab's system of creating spontaneous activities.

  • Cascoland
    International Amsterdam-based network of artists, architects, designers and performers

    Amidst the more innovative and engaging entries for this years YouFab competition Public Voice impressed for a number of reasons. First of all, and most important, it is addressing a very real threat a large part of our society is experiencing on a daily base: not feeling free and secure as a women in public space. For a healthy, inclusive society a healthy functioning public space that is accessible for all, where everybody is free to engage, navigate, express, dress and behave themselves, always respectfully to the other users of public space, is essential. Gender violence, or any other violence for that matter, is obstructing the functioning of public space for all.

    We appreciate the inter-disciplinary approach the project is taking in order to maximise the impact of this message. This results in a combination of art and design disciplines which focuses less on product development, although an integral part of the project, but rather on designing a process towards raising awareness. This approach opens up the communication of the message to a wider audience. Art and design thinking support each other, design is becoming instrumental in imagining and identifying with the message.

    The fact that the project is made up of three different parts that interact with each other (storytelling, interactive design and public performative action) contributes to layering the project and as such enhances its impact. The visual language of the project might be reminiscent of that of activists like Zapatista or Pussy Riot, through the use of the electric textile the project illustrates and maps very directly and palpable ‘where’ the pain is. The use of feminine skills like dressmaking includes cultural heritage in the project and the participation of dressmakers and makes the project more inclusive and democratic.

    What makes Public Voice distinctive to us is the public action, the performance aspect: the artist/designer communicates directly, in public space, with the audience, incidental spectator or even the occasional bypasser or onlooker. Different rules apply in the design studio than in public space. Out there the artist/designer allows herself to be vulnerable and is not afraid to do so. Here the strength of performative intervention in public space adds an innovative layer to our general way of design thinking.

  • Kampire Bahana
    DJ / Nyege Nyege collective

    At a time in which widespread protest, and its limits, are forefront in the news, "Public Voice" takes an issue that women have been organising around for centuries and applies new technology. When gendered and intimate partner violence affects so many societies, and all levels of a society, rich and poor, how do we collate voices of those most-affected? When people protest an issue extensively and little changes, how do we amplify that protest? When leaders do not listen, how do we change tactic? These are just a few of the questions that Public Voice attempts to address with colour, energy and humour. As Arundhati Roy says "There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard", Public Voice takes diverse voices and a multiplicity of narratives and presents them in multiple ways, online, in textiles, in voice and in the street, in ways that cannot be ignored!