The Clothesline Project Returns to IU Northwest October 13-24

rot1Indiana University Northwest invites the campus and public to view The Clothesline Project Exhibit to be featured in the Moraine Student Center from October 13 to 24.

The T-shirt exhibit is part of a national project intended to educate, break the silence, and bear witness to violence against women.

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 with neighbors. Although it was once considered shameful to “air one’s dirty laundry” about domestic issues, 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, be they male or female.

The T-shirts are color coded to show the form of abuse and whether the victim survived:
White memorializes those who died from violence
Yellow or beige represents battering or assault
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

Project organizers say they are continually struck by the openness of the participants every year at the T-shirt making event. The attendees come to the event as strangers and find solace with those with whom they share a common bond. The organizers hope that awareness activities like the Clothesline Exhibit will ultimately reduce the shame and stigma associated with this type of violence.

The Clothesline Project is part of a broader 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.