A white Slovenian artist named Katarina Stegnar has created an international stir with her #HateBetter work featuring blackened hands groping the body of a half-naked white woman.
The image features a white woman from a rear view wearing a black lace bra and no underwear. Six hands blackened with paint or grease grip the woman’s body, pulling at her bra and grabbing her thighs and behind.
— Caesar Zvayi (@caesarzvayi) May 13, 2019
The hashtag #HateBetter appears at the bottom of the poster in black letters. Response to the controversial work has been mixed.
Some are offended by the poster and believe it is nothing more than shock value.
— Michael (@Michaelstonen) May 13, 2019
WTF???!!! So are they trying to state with the #HateBetter is portraying that white is better and black individuals are haters of what that can’t be? Throw the whole damn poster away. https://t.co/aJXGtRRdSp
— Tayonce ? – MAY 29 ♊️ (@ShesMixedBeauty) May 14, 2019
— D.O.C (@WESTCOASTDOC) May 13, 2019
But others have interpreted the poster to actually be a condemnation of racism and the way that people perceive others based solely on race.
White hands taking, harassing, & assaulting painted Black. At first glance you think it’s just Black people being criminals when in reality it’s white people pulling the strings, pitting us against each other, & hiding behind gaslighting & propaganda
I LOVE this piece#HateBetter pic.twitter.com/F9esXiVp2N
— sistah gürrl ✊??✨ (@MylahChandler) May 14, 2019
Actually I noticed that these are white men with black painted hands? The hands are painted black, to show how racist white people always blame the innocent black man. They “paint” the picture that the black man is violent? #hatebetter is awareness. https://t.co/h8cc6rTi6t
— Daa’iyah✨ (@__daaiyah__) May 14, 2019
— Schana (@schana29) May 13, 2019
Creator Katarina Stegnar explained the piece in an artist statement.
“The regulation of female sexuality lies at the core of all patriarchal politics. Regardless of whether we are discussing the wearing of burkas, banning abortion or the demonization of female pleasure. It ends now. No means no. I will not allow my body to be exploited for any political agenda,” said Stegnar. “I am the mistress of my pleasure. I will do with my body as I please, where I please and with whomever I please. I love my Slovenian boyfriend, whether he is black, yellow, white, red or all the colors of the rainbow.”