Once the team found willing participants, I was put in touch immediately. This is super-important to my process, as I wanted to build up communication beforehand – I really didn’t want to just turn up, and meet the woman on the day. It was important to understand the nature of the harassment they faced, and the limitations it had on their free movement, work and social life. It was a completely exhilarating and moving experience. I interviewed mothers, students, actresses, charity workers, businesswomen – each one with a unique, yet disturbingly similar account of harassment.
There was a really poignant moment for me, when I was sitting in a circle talking to three students, and I brought up the name of my project, Cheer Up Luv, to see if it meant anything to them, or if they had a similar phrase in their language. Unsurprisingly, they had all been told to smile, or look cheerful or pretty. I realised that the core of what the name refers to is experienced by women all over the globe.