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The Clothesline Project Exhibit returns to IU Northwest Oct. 2-12

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program (WGS) at Indiana University Northwest invites the campus and greater community to view “The Clothesline Project” to be featured in the Moraine Student Center from October 2-12. The T-shirt exhibit is part of a national project intended to educate, break the silence, and bear witness to gender violence.

Dovetailing with the Clothesline Project exhibit, Byron Hurt, nationally known gender violence prevention educator, spoke on Thursday, Oct. 5 in the Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium, located in the Savannah Center.

Hurt is a documentary filmmaker and his film, “Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” focuses on males and misogynistic masculinity. His presentation, “Locker Room Talk or Toxic Masculinity,” focuses on how hyper-masculinity normalizes male violence, and how positive male leadership can end gender-based violence.

IU Northwest is fortunate to have Hurt on campus during the Clothesline Exhibit, which is part of a broader WGS effort at IU Northwest intended to create awareness about violence and its prevention.

The idea behind the Clothesline Project comes from the fact that, traditionally, doing laundry was considered “women’s work.” This meant that women hung their clothes to dry while conversing with their neighbors, often about taboo domestic issues. Although it was once considered shameful to “air one’s dirty laundry,” the Clothesline Project is intended to raise awareness about gender violence and give expression to previously silenced voices.

The exhibited T-shirts are designed by IU Northwest students, staff and faculty as an expression of their personal stories or in honor of a survivor or victim, whether child or adult, male or female.

The T-shirts are color coded to demonstrate the prevalence and severity of various types of abuse:

  • Yellow represents battering or assault survivors
  • Red, pink, and orange signify survivors of rape or sexual assault
  • Blue or green is for survivors of incest or sexual abuse
  • Purple or lavender stands for persons attacked due to their sexual orientation
  • Black represents those attacked for political reasons
  • White memorializes those who died from violence

“I have found that participants experience a therapeutic release as well as a sense of bonding as they create T-shirts that are exhibited alongside others who have had similar experiences,” said Tanice Foltz, The Clothesline Project organizer. “The Women’s and Gender Studies Program sponsors the exhibit to encourage students to break the silence about gender violence and reduce the shame associated with it, while connecting and empowering participants.”

For more information, contact Tanice Foltz, professor of Sociology and director of Women’s and Gender Studies, at [email protected] or 219-980-6786.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs are sponsors of the exhibit.

About Indiana University Northwest

One of eight campuses of Indiana University, IU Northwest is located in metropolitan Northwest Indiana, approximately 30 miles southeast of Chicago and 10 miles from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The campus has a diverse student population of approximately 4,000 degree-seeking students and 1,500 dual-degree-seeking students. The campus offers Associate, Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in a variety of undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. IU Northwest emphasizes high-quality teaching, faculty and student research and engagement on campus and in the community. As a student-centered campus, IU Northwest is committed to academic excellence characterized by a love of ideas and achievement in learning, discovery, creativity and engagement. Indiana University Northwest is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to achieving excellence through diversity. The University actively encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, persons with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups.


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