The Monument Quilt: A public healing space by and for survivors of rape and abuse.
Posted 02.21.14 by Drew Lundholm
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is an art activist effort to upset the dominant culture of rape and promote a counter-culture of consent. FORCE is led by co-founders Hannah Brancato '07 '11 (MACA, MFACA) and Rebecca Nagle '08 (fiber) who are creative educators, organizers and activists living in Baltimore. Brancato is also an instructor at MICA where she completed her MA and MFA in Community Arts. The duo believes that a more difficult and honest conversation needs to happen in America to face the realities of sexual violence and envisions a world where sex is empowering and pleasurable rather than coercive and violent. To promote this important conversation, FORCE creates art actions to generate media attention and conversation on this difficult subject.
FORCE is most widely known for creating a mock Victoria's Secret website as a viral prank to promote underwear displaying consent themed slogans. More recently, FORCE persuaded many into believing that Playboy Magazine had released an updated anti-rape party school guide dubbed, "The Ultimate Guide to a Consensual Good Time". They have also received national attention for projecting "RAPE IS RAPE" onto the US Capitol Building and for floating a giant poem written by a rape survivor in the reflecting pool on the national mall. Soraya Chemaly praises the group's creative activism in her Huffington Post article that can be read in its entirety here.
The Monument Quilt is a crowd-sourced collection of thousands of stories from survivors of rape and abuse. Sections of the quilt will be witnessed across the United States via a tour, quilt making workshops, and a historic display in our nation's capitol. Blanketing over one mile of the National Mall, thousands of fabric squares will be stitched together to spell "NOT ALONE". The Monument Quilt gives churches, schools, towns and the country clear and accessible steps to support survivors of rape and abuse. Through public recognition, the quilt reconnects survivors to their community. The creation and display of the Monument Quilt is a call to create a permanent monument to survivors of rape and abuse.
You can make a donation to the The Monument Quilt through MICA's online giving portal which can be found here. Where the form displays "I would like my gift to support:" select "restrict my gift to:" from the pulldown menu and enter "The Monument Quilt" in the text box that appears.