The Clothesline Project Returns to IU Northwest October 12 – 23, 2015

rot1The Women’s and Gender Studies Program (WGS) at Indiana University Northwest invites the campus and greater community to view The Clothesline Project Exhibit to be featured in the Moraine Student Center from October 12 to 23. The T-shirt exhibit is part of a national project intended to educate, break the silence, and bear witness to violence against women.

New to the popular exhibit this year is a public screening of “Private Violence,” a “feature-length documentary film and audience engagement campaign that explores a simple, but deeply disturbing fact of American life: the most dangerous place for a woman in America is her own home.”

Following a 5 p.m. reception and viewing of T-shirts in the Gallery for Contemporary Art, the film will be shown at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17 in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium. Both are located in the Savannah Center.

The idea behind the Clothesline Project came from the idea that doing laundry was considered “women’s work.” This meant that women hung their clothes to dry while conversing, often about taboo domestic issues, with their neighbors. Although it was once considered shameful to “air one’s dirty laundry”, the Clothesline Project is intended to raise awareness about gender violence and give expression to silenced voices.

The exhibited T-shirts are designed by IU Northwest students, staff and faculty as an expression of their personal stories or in honor of a survivor or victim.

The T-shirts are color coded to show the form of abuse:

Yellow or beige represents battering or assault survivors
Red, pink, and orange signify survivors of rape or sexual assault
Blue or green is for survivors of incest or sexual abuse
Purple or lavender stands for persons attacked due to their sexual orientation
Black represents those attacked for political reasons
White memorializes those who died from violence

Clothesline Project organizers are amazed at the openness of the participants who come as strangers to the T-shirt making event and find solace with others with whom they share a common bond. WGS sponsors awareness activities such as the Clothesline Project Exhibit to empower participants and viewers and to reduce the shame and stigma associated with gender violence.

The Clothesline Project is part of a broader WGS effort at IU Northwest intended to create awareness about violence and its prevention. Speakers and workshops on such topics as bullying, transgender issues, sexual harassment, rape and battering are scheduled to occur in the Hass Birky Women’s Center, located in the Savannah Center, Room 207, throughout the year.

For more information, please contact Tanice Foltz, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, at or (219) 980-6786.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs are sponsors of the exhibit.