Clothesline Project:

Popular Education Against Violence Against Women


Joyce Stalker, Darlene E. Clover and Catherine Etmanski
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

The purpose of this project was:
To educate, document, and raise awareness of the extent and causes of the problem of violence against women through an aesthetic medium.
To help with the healing process for people who have lost a loved one or who are survivors of this violence.
To provide encouragement, support, and information for others who wish to undertake a similar popular education project.

We contacted by mail and/or email everyone who submitted an abstract and/or who registered for the conference and invited them to contribute a decorated blouse or shirt to the project. Each item represented a woman, group of women the community of women who have suffered assaults, rapes, murders and incest. It could celebrate/commemorate the survivors/victims and also acknowledge in some way that although violence may happen at the hands of individual men, it is often the result of social, political, economic and cultural factors.

This Clothesline served as an exemplar for participants at the conference and was hung in the main foyer of the conference hall. It was accompanied by information intended to stimulate action to end violence against women. This included data about violence against women on a country by country basis and guidelines on how to run a community-based Clothesline Project and move it toward action.