The Annual Domestic Violence Conference is right around the corner. This year, it will be October 6, 2011 on the TAMIU campus.
Part of the conference will include a display of the Laredo Clothesline Project (The Silent Witness Project will also be present). Many Laredoans remember the project’s largest displays on the TAMIU campus many years ago but since then, the project appears at smaller events when requested. It also travels to other states and all over Texas (the demand for the Laredo project is there because it is one of the few bilingual projects).
So what is this exhibit all about?? The main Clothesline Project website states:
The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started on Cape Cod, MA, in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. With the support of many, it has since spread world-wide.
The organizer is asking for any woman who has experienced some form of violence and is motivated enough to create her own shirt, with her own story (however she chooses), to share with others through this exhibit, to submit a completed shirt to the Bruni Vergara Education Center.
If you are interested in creating a shirt for the exhibit or for the project to continue, the brochure offers some suggestions for long-lasting shirts:
- use a natural fabric
- sew rather than using glue
- photocopy photographs onto iron-ons
- use acrylic or textile paint, color-fast dye or indelible ink
Although there is a color coding system, Laredo’s Clothesline Project does not follow it due to the donations of various shirts. Shirts should be submitted by the survivor and a first name can be used but other identifying information is avoided. Lastly, a note about names.
Naming the perpetrator is an important part of the healing process. But, for legal reasons, we cannot display shirts with full names of the perpetrators. We ask that shirt makers use first names or initials if they wish to name their violator.
I’ll be looking forward to the awesome presenter (Jerry Tello with a specialty in family strengthening) that will be at the Domestic Violence Conference and for additional shared stories of women who’ve found the strength to use a simple t-shirt as a way to communicate her experiences and/or success.
Oh – almost forgot. The 15th Annual Domestic Violence Coalition is having a proclamation on Friday, September 30th at 10am. The Silent Witness Project will be exhibited.