Hi! We are Nicole Litwiller, Lindsay Acker, and Luke Mullet, three college students at Eastern Mennonite University. This project started from a conversation Nicole had with our friend. Our friend made a comment about our society not paying attention to the trash we throw away, and translated that to the people and stories we throw away as well. Nicole immediately thought of the way stories of sexual assault are often tossed aside, and started thinking of a way to use her art that could recenter those stories. She then asked Lindsay, her roommate, to help out, and we got started.
Here's what we did: Lindsay listened to survivors' stories, recording and transcribing them. The stories, anonymous if the survivors wished it, are collected on this website. Luke took pieces of the audio recordings, either of the interviews or of somebody else reading the stories if anonymity is a priority, and them pieced together to form a short audio accompaniment for Nicole's piece. Nicole created a 5'x6' landscape piece using trash that we collected throughout the semester. The piece includes certain details from the survivors stories, and depicts an illegal dump site (an illegal dump site is a place where people throw trash off the sides of roads). We feel that this image is an adequate metaphor for what happens to survivors' stories when people question or do not believe them.
The project was shown at the end of April at EMU, at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival in The Netherlands in June, and at the SNAP Network Conference at the end of July.