The Clothesline Project, an effort to raise awareness of gender-based and sexual violence, will present a workshop March 27, 28, 29, and 31 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 30 at the Women’s Center, 206 Washington St. in Blacksburg.
Survivors of violence — and friends and families of victims — create shirts emblazoned with direct messages and strong illustrations. The shirts demonstrate the pain and suffering of the survivors, aid in their healing process, and celebrate their strength and courage to overcome the past.
The shirts will be hung side-by-side on a clothesline as though the survivors were standing there themselves, shoulder to shoulder, bearing witness to the violence committed on a daily basis. The shirts are color-coded: white for those who have died from violence; yellow or beige for survivors who have been battered or assaulted; red, pink, or orange for those raped or sexually assaulted; blue or green for survivors of incest or child sexual abuse; purple or lavender for those attacked because of their sexual orientation; and black for survivors disabled by violence.
The Clothesline Project’s goal is to educate the public about the scope of gender-based violence and the impact it has on individuals, their families and friends, and the community. The project encourages survivors to come forward to break the silence by creating shirts to share their stories.
Survivors can create their own shirts in a quiet, comfortable environment by dropping by the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech (206 Washington St. Blacksburg) anytime during the four-day workshop’s hours (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) on March 27, 28, 29, and 31 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 30. All materials will be supplied free of charge.
This local Clothesline Project was initiated in 1994 by the Montgomery County chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). More than 630 shirts made by New River Valley residents are currently on the line. Local sponsors include Montgomery County NOW, the United Feminist Movement, the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, and the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley.
Sponsors encourage community members to view the display on the Drillfield at Virginia Tech from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on March 28. (The rain location is Squires Student Center.)
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