by Hayleigh Potter, Reporter
Photos courtesy of Ashley Rodriguez
On Monday October 4th, the Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center brought the annual Clothesline Project back to campus in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month. It is a week-long event displaying t-shirts that symbolize different forms of domestic violence. The Clothesline Project began in Cape Cod in 1990, and has been an early-October staple event for the Women’s Studies Center for over a decade now.
“I think it’s important to bring the Clothesline Project back to Aquinas every year to keep gender-based violence, such as domestic violence—which the Clothesline Project highlights—in front of us.,” said Amy Dunham-Strand, Program Director for the Women’s Studies Center. “I also think it’s important for us, as a co-curricular Women’s Studies Center, to connect our local campus community with larger nation-wide longer-term activist efforts, and the Clothesline Project does this too.”
Pictured here are some of the t-shirts and a guide for what each color symbolizes. For example, purple t-shirts symbolize people who experienced domestic violence because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
“I find it moving to think about the individual hands that made the t-shirts on our Clothesline Project—that these were people within our community who have been affected by domestic violence,” said Dunham-Strand. “And I am always moved when I think about the simple tangible material used for this visual display—a t-shirt is so common and everyday, worn close to the body, laundered regularly, reworn. It is a powerful material for the message.”
This year, to maximize accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clothesline Project was brought to the center’s social media pages. This way, community members are able to access the project from the safety of their own home.
The Clothesline Project brings domestic violence awareness to the forefront of the 2nd floor commuter lounge every October. The Women’s Studies Center addresses violence against women and advocates for awareness and change in not only the Aquinas community, but worldwide. To view a recap of this year’s Clothesline Project visit Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center on Facebook.