The Monument Quilt is a new project from FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, a creative activist collective that uses the intersection of art and action to garner media attention and ultimately dismantle rape culture in society. The project hopes to provide awareness and support for survivors or sexual assault by piecing together tangible stories and experiences to create a public space for healing.
In the past, FORCE has projected survivor’s stories on the US Capitol Building, floated a Styrofoam cut-out of a survivor’s poem in the Reflecting Pool, posed as Victoria’s Secret launching a consent-based underwear line, and posed as Playboy releasing a consent-themed campus rape prevention guide. With their latest project, they are collecting thousands of stories across the country to establish The Monument Quilt for victims of sexual assault and harassment. With our help, they hope to quilt a lasting message in front of the National Mall that reads, “You are not alone.” FORCE explains on their website:
The Monument Quilt is a crowd-sourced collection of thousands of stories from survivors of rape and abuse. By stitching our stories together, we are creating and demanding public space to heal. The Monument Quilt is a platform to not only tell our stories, but work together to forever change how Americans respond to rape. We are creating a new culture where survivors are publicly supported, rather than publicly shamed.
Sections of the quilt will be witnessed across the United States through 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 our country clear and accessible steps to support survivors of rape and abuse when, often, people don’t know where to begin. Through public recognition, the quilt reconnects survivors to their community.
Last week, we invited survivors and allies to share themselves and their story with this honorable project by joining us for a quilt-making workshop at the Center. With fabric, crafting supplies, and a room full of support, participants provided insight into their experiences and used art to reflect on trauma and healing.
There are a couple ways to get involved with this monumental project. First, anyone can make a quilt square and send it to FORCE. The detailed instructions on their website makes it easy to submit your own quilt square artwork. Second, we are very excited that on their national tour, FORCE and The Monument Quilt will make a stop in Durham, NC. Join local and national activists at Durham Central Park on Sunday, August 24, from 2pm to 6pm, for the quilt display, quilt-making workshops, and a community of support.