May 22, 2016

Norwegian artist visits border, advocates for victims of violence with 'Project Desconocida'

Norwegian artist Lise Bjorne Linnert will present in Juarez and El Paso
Project Desconocida by Norwegian artist Lise Bjorne Linnert

News release

May 20, 2016

Amnesty International presents Project Desconocida/Proyecto Desconocida by Norwegian artist Lise Bjorne Linnert in Mexico May 21-June 4, 2016.

The project involves the embroidery of nametags to protest the continuing murders of women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and in remembrance of similar crimes worldwide.

“When I initiated the project in 2006 I did not plan for it to last for 10 years. I wanted people to become aware of the situation in Juarez, connect and engage in the cause of violence against women and diminish the distance we tend to feel towards such difficult issues. The continuing of the project grew from people´s engagement and the sad fact that little changes in the originate city and country.” – Lise Bjorne Linnert, international artist.

[Ms. Bjorne will be the featured speaker for a May 27 panel at noon (12 p.m.) on art as protest and the femicides of Mexico at Café Mayapan in El Paso, Texas, sponsored by The Digie Zone and Journalists for Justice.]

EL PASO, TEXAS – Project Desconocida/Unknown/Ukjent is in its 10th year utilizing an international mass collaboration, embroidering nametags to protest the continuing murder of women in Juárez, Mexico and in remembrance of similar crimes worldwide.


Desconocida Unknown Ukjent was initiated in 2006 in response to the ongoing situation in Juarez where more than 2000 women have been mutilated and murdered the last 24 years and hundreds have disappeared. By April 2016, 4800 people, in around 480 globally arranged workshops, have embroidered 7900 labels. Each participant embroiders two; one with the name a murdered woman in Juarez; the other with unknown in their own language to memorize victims of similar crimes globally.
Artist’s visit to El Paso, Juarez and Mexico City, May 21 – June 4th, 2016

Ms. Bjorne’s is bringing the labels to Juarez and Mexico City. The purposes of her trip are: to meet the families of violence in Juarez again, show them the care and protest from so many around the world; working with activists locally to raise awareness and use the labels to add focus to their work; arrange workshops in both cities, embroidering new names added to the list of victims. “I will collaborate with Amnesty International in Mexico in addition to local activist groups and help organizations,” Bjorne said.

El Paso presentation and panel on “Art as Protest”

Panel will include international artist Lise Bjorne Linnert, who will demonstrate a part of her work; Miguel Juarez, academic and art advocate; Margarita Cabrera, renowned artist based in El Paso; Marisela Ortiz, co-founder of Nuestras Hijas a Regreso a Casa who fled threats in Juarez and received U.S. asylum; and (tentatively) a member of Mexicanos en Exilio (Mexicans in Exile); Diana Washington Valdez of Journalists for Justice will be the moderator.

The panel is at 12 p.m. May 27 at Café Mayapan. The public is invited and admission is free.

During her stay in the El Paso-Juarez border region, Ms. Bjorne will be available for workshops and interviews. Her contact information is email: website:; phone: +4799464060

For information about the panel: or Diana Washington Valdez at (915) 637-4473.

Harald Gunnar Paalgard, a highly regarded filmmaker from Norway, is accompanying Ms. Bjorne during her project presentations.