"This is What it Feels Like" art exhibit puts catcalling center stage - 660 CITYNEWS
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"This is What it Feels Like" art exhibit puts catcalling center stage

Tahirih Foroozan

An art exhibit, in downtown Calgary, allows men to experience what it feels like to be catcalled.

“This is What it Feels Like”, invites passersby to step inside the mobile installation, sit in a chair with a mirror in front of it, and listen to recorded catcalls.

Executive Director of Next Gen Men, Jake Stika, saw the exhibit by Terra Lopez back in February and decided to bring the idea to Calgary.

After interviewing 117 local women, Stika recruited people to help record the most common derogatory calls in our city.

Stika says he hopes it’ll help start a conversation, especially during the Calgary Stampede.

“[It’s] a hypercharged, hypersexualized time here in Calgary. We see the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy just released a study that domestic violence calls go up 15 per cent over stampede,” said Stika.

He says reactions to the exhibit have differed.

“A lot of women will write that it’s familiar or common; it gives credibility to their experiences. Whereas a lot of men are very dumbfounded.”

Charles, who’s visiting from Montreal, describes what it was like for him.

“I have a few friends who have told me, you know, a few things guys have said but when you hear it over and over and over again, it kind of hits you,” said Charles.

The exhibit will be on Stephen Avenue from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday for the duration of the stampede.