Tag Archive | visual art

Building a Monument for Survivors of Rape and Abuse

What would a permanent national monument to survivors of rape and abuse look like? That question is being placed in countless minds across the Baltimore/DC area and nationally now thanks to the members of the Baltimore based group FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. FORCE’s latest project is their largest to date.

The Monument Project  is an installation aimed to not only draw attention to rape culture, but to create a space that honors and acknowledges those who have experienced rape and abuse without shaming them. The Monument Quilt, which is reminiscent of the AIDS Quilt and NAMES Project, will be created from the stories submitted by rape and abuse survivors as a large scale installation that will be displayed on the National Mall in the summer of 2014. Instead of taking on a rectangular shape, the Monument Quilt will be made into giant letters that will read “WE ARE HEARD. THIS IS NOT OUR FAULT. WE ARE NOT ALONE.” FORCE has described the quilt as a “GIANT Picnic Blanket” where they hope to engage people to stop, stay, rest, and discuss rape culture in a public forum.

FORCE is beginning to gain momentum for the campaign through the use of similar temporary installations. In February they floated giant styrofoam letters in the reflecting pool at the National Mall spelling out “I CAN’T FORGET WHAT HAPPENED BUT NO ONE ELSE REMEMBERS.”

With the recent public attention given to rape and abuse in the military, the work that FORCE is doing to not only deconstruct rape culture but to create spaces that support survivor healing is incredibly timely.  The group has continued to get national attention recently for their other projects which have included projecting the words “Rape is Rape” on the US Capital Building last fall and for their “PINK loves CONSENT” website. Their work uses art to place the issue of rape culture in the forefront conversations and spark those dialogues that many are often uncomfortable having.

I f you would like to add your story to the Monument Quilt, you can email it to upsettingrapeculture@gmail.com with the subject “My story,” they also ask that you please include what color you would like your square to be.

The Monument Project is also a large project to take on and a Kickstarter has been created to fund the project. To give to the Monument Project please visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/230742001/force-upsetting-rape-culture

“For All the World to See” Opens this week at UMBC

For All the World to See, the new exhibit at UMBC’s Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, explores the critical role of visual images in impacting the fight for civil rights in the United States. The exhibit contains over 250 images from posters, graphic art, magazines, photographs, newspapers, books, pamphlets, political buttons, comic books, newsreels, postcards, toys, television, and clips from films. The exhibit chronicles the historic role of visual imagery in shaping peoples’ attitudes, beliefs, and inspiring activism and eventual legislation. For All the World to See showcases the importance of visual images in invoking emotional responses in individuals, communities, and the country at large. As the world continues to become increasingly more reliant on visual media and camera phone videos are common place amongst the 5 o’clock news, the message of the exhibit remains timely. The exhibit is co-organized by the Center for the Art, Design and Visual Culture, UMBC and the Smithsonian Nation Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C. It has been touring New York and Tennessee and will be at UMBC on November 15th until March 10, 2013.

UMBC has been working on a project to expand the exhibit that opens as well on Nov. 15th entitled For All the World to Hear. Organized by the Center for Art, Design & Visual Culture, UMBC, the project involved a dozen senior-citizens from the Baltimore area to write and perform their own personal stories regarding their experiences being involved in the fight for civil rights. After their live performances there will be mediated discussions with audience members. The first performance will be at noon on Thursday November 15th at UMBC in The Commons.

For more information on For all the World to See visit the website and view the online exhibit.

For more information and future performances of For All the World to Hear visit the UMBC website.

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