• Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • lacuna discusses the aftermath of sexual violence and the systemic oppression of women’s experiences. Through art we can realize the shared experience of trauma and oppression, countering silence and isolation by engaging an ethics of care, belief, and empathy. As a rape survivor, I use my own body and personal narrative to engage with the affect of trauma as well as historical oppression of women’s experiences. To quote Tracey Emin, “I work with what I know. But it goes beyond that. I start with myself and end up with the universe” (Brown, 2006). My work engages the negative affect of trauma as a catalyst for conversation about survivor’s embodied experiences. Individual trauma is rarely openly discussed, which is but one indicator that individual sexual violence is symptomatic of larger systemic issues.

    My artistic research engages a variety of media to invoke negative affect surrounding sexual violence. I use video, choreography, embroidery, and photography to create work that ranges in tone and intent. Some of the work speaks in a whisper, indicating the silence of trauma, through subtle videos of a body moving underwater. Other works speak through a shout, with large fabric panels picturing violently painted ink and embroidered defiant bodies. The image of water acts as a metaphor for trauma while the embroidery references the women’s work of my matriarchal lineage and generations of gender-based oppression. Art has the capacity to address the gravity of rape culture and trauma as well as the vulnerability of personal healing. This research is centred in reclaiming the silenced voices of survivors of sexual violence as a necessary political action.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Research Material
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International