Sexual Assault: The Roadshow at Ganohkwasra
OHSWEKEN – Have you seen a colourful container on your way into Ohsweken lately?
That would have to be the newly placed “Sexual Assault: The Roadshow” container, which is a part of a partnership between Ganohkwasra and Award-winning Artist Lillian Allen and Sexual Assault Expert Jane Doe.
This container and project has been designed to help move away from traditional approaches to sexual assault through artistic expression, as the bin opens up like a gallery to display art created by youth and adults, male and female from a certain community.
Project Artistic Collaborator, Julia Jamieson explained that the initiative has a very strong team.
“Jane Doe was raped at knife point in the 80’s,” said Jamieson, further stating that Doe had decided to take on the police force thereafter. “She ended up suing them actually, because seven months prior to her assault there were other assaults, other rapings and the police didn’t notify the women in the area about them. They were worried that the women would become ‘hysterical,’ so the police didn’t work to empower the women. So, [Doe] fought, and took the Toronto police force to task and 11 years later she was successful. And now, she set precedent in the legal world that she’s known as ‘Jane Doe versus the Toronto Police Force,’” she said.
“So, Lillian Allen is also the Artistic Director and she’s known as the ‘Grandmother of Spoken Word,” she said. “So, what we are doing today, tomorrow and Thursday is we’re leaving [the container] open to the community and we’re going to be talking to people who are interested in collaborating.”
It is hoped that youth and adults from Six Nations will be the ones looking to collaborate to help fill the container after creating artwork in workshops that shed light upon the facts and myths surrounding consent.
“We’ll soon be doing workshops and the workshops will be themed out and they’ll focus on all types of inter-disciplinary arts. From spoken word, to movement music, etchings; and we’ll also be using the art to educate,” she said.
Jamieson said that the idea and focus of the art will circulate around the virtue of consent, and knowing what words to use and when to use them. She also mentioned that the bin will be travelling across Ontario for the next three years as well.
“This particular container goes to 15 different communities, and we are number two on their tour,” she said. “The artwork that you see here is from Toronto and this will go back after we workshop and develop our own art here in our community. Our art will be opened up to a community in Hamilton and they will be looking at our art the way that we are looking at Toronto’s.”
If you would like to get involved and create some art; the Project has opened a Visitation and Registration period from Wednesday, July 13 – Thursday, July 14 and will enable registrars to select which workshops they would like to attend from Tuesday, July 19 – Thursday, July 21.