By Nin Garcia |Staff Writer|
Back in the day when laundry was hung on clotheslines to dry, many women took the opportunity to meet and share stories through the wire, airing out their dirty laundry.
The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is taking a modern approach to this old idea to provide closure and peace for the women of today.
The WRC held its annual Clothesline Project April 16—20 to encourage all survivors, students and friends who have been affected by domestic abuse to try their hand at an artistic outlet.
The t-shirt workshop encouraged participants to design a shirt with any writings or drawings of personal feelings in order to get closure and move on from the obstacles they have endured.
“In the process of making the shirt, I felt like I was finally getting out the bottled darkness out of me. I didn’t feel so ashamed. I felt really at peace with myself and with the painful memories I have kept locked inside,” said one participant.
Another participant said that when she heard of the event, she was too embarrassed to make a shirt, but that after seeing others making one she didn’t feel so alone. She also mentioned that she made some new friends from the experience, and she didn’t regret taking part.
“The event is a good way to raise awareness about personal issues such as rape, battery, domestic violence etc. It promotes female empowerment by letting other women know they aren’t alone and it also lets out deep dark kept secrets,” said Marissa Wollard, programming assistant.
The Clothesline Project started in October 1990 by a coalition of several different women’s groups. During the Vietnam War an estimated 51,000 women were killed by those who “loved” them according to the clotheslineproject.org.
This inspired women to create some form of visual expression to raise awareness. This project has grown from 31 shirts in one city in 1990, to 500 projects in five different countries, and an estimated 60,000 shirts today.
The project hopes to honor women survivors and victims of domestic violence. It’s not only to create awareness but be a therapeutic way for survivors to express their experience and walk away.