In Solidarity, We Resist

 2014/15

In Solidarity, We Resist is an art/activist project designed to help survivors of sexual violence to reclaim space to tell their stories. Starting in 2014, I collected stories weekly throughout the school year from three designated confidential places on campus: The Women’s Center, Counseling and Wellness, and Legal Services as well as through our website InSolidarityWeResist.com.  We also held writing workshops to help survivors write down their stories. April 15th, I and my team of volunteers shared those stories on the Quad and filled the lawn with 808 flags symbolizing the 808 sexual assaults that happen every 24 hours in the United States.

We began set up at 9:30 and started reading the collected stories at 10am. We had a table full of resources for survivors including reporting information, counselor information, and more. We also had the support of at least one therapist from Counselling & Wellness at the event at all times. At 1pm we took an hour break and began again at 2pm. From 2-4:30 we had 6 survivors come to share their own experiences.

In April 15th, 2015 included:

  • 5 ½ hours of reading
  • 23 total stories were read
  • 14 stories will be used in the quilt
  • 6 survivors came that day to share their stories
  • 808 Flags were placed out on the Quad
  • 9 Volunteers
  • 75 Bookmark/Pledges explaining consent were passed out

The total volunteer hours for the academic year: 133.5

In the months following, I sewed the flags and stories together into a Quilt.

The symbolic nature of the quilt encompasses our survival being an integral part of each other’s survival and thus binding us together. While each of our stories are different and individual, we have a shared experience and share in the reclaiming of space. The stories have been sewn over several times and painted with wax. The wax pushes the transparency of the paper, revealing several layers of text and simultaneously making the text more difficult to read. The quilt appropriately appears unfinished at the bottom as the stories and experiences of survivors never end- likewise, neither does the work of survivor advocacy.

 

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