See It Now: "My White Dress," Inspired by a March Against Domestic Violence

By David Schonauer   Wednesday September 5, 2018

Gladys Ricart died 19 years ago, on September 26, 1999.

A Dominican woman from the Washington Heights area of New York City, Ricart was murdered by her abusive former boyfriend on the day she was to wed her fiancé.

Beginning in 2001, an annual event, the The Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk/Brides’ March, has taken place on the anniversary of her death. For the march, women wear bridal dresses or dress in white. “For women who have experienced some form of domestic violence, their wedding dress no longer signifies what it did on the day it was first worn because the abuse destroyed those dreams of shared love, honor, respect and a happy home,” note the march organizers. Although women are at the helm of the effort, they encourage men to stand in solidarity and work together. (Go here to find out more about this year’s march.)

Inspired by Ricart’s story and the march, photographer Diana Bejarano  has completed a project called “My White Dress,” which opens at the Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City, NY, on Sept. 8. The exhibition features an installation of light boxes displaying Bejarano’s photographs of dresses worn by women at the Bride’s March.

“The dresses serve as a canvas that embodies the stories of women who have been lost because of domestic violence; they also pay tribute to all the activists and organizations raising awareness about domestic violence,” notes Bejarano, a Colombian artist living in New York City.

PPD has previously featured work by Bejarano, whose documentary series on the Wayuu people of Colombia and Venezuela was named a winner of the Latin American Fotografía competition in 2014.

“My work is based on the idea that art can promote social change by opening discussions about our lives,” Bejarano states at her website. “I make use of photography and mixed media in order to translate personal stories and give light to emotions, which reflect human conditions.”


  1. emily quinn commented on: September 7, 2018 at 9:57 a.m.
    I was blown away by Diana’s work. I never imagined feeling such a visceral reaction to an inanimate object. No overt images of physical abuse but the symbol the dress represents os chilling

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