Cheil Centrade, ANAIS launch Guilt Gifts series against domestic violence

guilt gifts puppetry cheil centrade anais

Romanian marketing firm Cheil Centrade has teamed up with humanitarian group ANAIS to create an awareness campaign called Guilt Gifts Puppetry around women in toxic relationships.

After working for three years together, Cheil Centrade and ANAIS hope the new campaign will raise awareness in women, so they admit being in a poisonous relationship and ask for help in due time without allowing themselves to be deceived by shallow gestures of forgiveness that only perpetuate the physical and mental abuse.

“One year into the spread of the Covid-19 virus, in a pandemic-ravaged world, we are witnessing an alarming increase in domestic violence, with aggravating consequences for the safety, and often, the lives of women and other family members,” the company said. 

The isolation, limited contact with family and friends, working from home with the kids around due to schools being closed, have “imprisoned” women together with their attackers.

Breaking away from such toxic relationships is even more difficult for the victims because abusers are often people they trust and with whom they formed a long-term relationship. 

People who take advantage and manipulate them using gifts to make false promises of a better life thus keeping them locked in a vicious loop where they fail to report the aggression which in turn allows abusers to continue their harmful rampage.

Guilt Gifts Puppetry

This is how the Guilt Gifts Puppetry came to life – a project where art becomes an instrument in recognising aggression. Using toys belonging to real victims, we created an experimental puppet theatre including 8 short plays depicting true cases of women affected by domestic violence. 

The stories reveal the damaging ramifications of “guilt gifting” and how through it, aggressors manage to deepen the victims’ traumatic experience. 

The episodes are available on http://guiltgiftpuppetry.com where the public is invited to contribute with a donation to watch them. 

The funds will finance ANAIS projects supporting the victims.

Carmen Nemeș, ANAIS president, said: “The month of March is all about gifts, and we would like for these gifts to have the same positive meaning for all women. 

“We would like women coming to us for help to understand that they deserve only gifts given out of love and respect. 

“To know that they are not alone, that they are offered protection and that in fact, the most precious gift is to free themselves from a destructive relationship. 

“Violence can never be justified, and their silence should not be bought with a gift.”

During our collaboration, Cheil Centrade and ANAIS teams have worked closely to educate the public about the dangers of domestic violence and the need for solutions to help reduce this worrying phenomenon.

“This project was a get together of extraordinary partners, screenwriters, directors, puppeteers, famous actors, choreographers, dancers, scenographers who put their heart and soul into it, which is why I take this opportunity to thank them yet again for their involvement”, Roxana Niță, Group Creative Director Cheil | Centrade. 

“The times are such that those working in theatres have been seriously affected and so has been the theatre-loving public deprived of the art they adore; therefore, we hope that this experimental content project will be a breath of fresh air, especially since everything is for a cause ever so noble – helping the silent victims of violence.” 

Mihai Gongu, Executive Creative Director Cheil Centrade, said: “Cheil Centrade strongly believes in the principle of Doing Good With Data. 

Pro bono work

“That is why we work pro bono with ambitious and thoughtful organisations such as ANAIS, always on the lookout for innovative storytelling solutions to help them. 

“The Guilt Gifts Puppetry is the first experimental theatre project aimed at fighting domestic violence, in the current restrictive circumstances where theatre itself is a victim of the pandemic. 

“We are confident that our team and partners’ combined efforts will not go unnoticed and that we will inspire as many people as possible to contribute by donating in exchange for watching this touching series.”