Thursday, July 30, 2015

Force: Upsetting Rape Culture


My name is Kelsey Schneider and I am a senior General Fine Arts major and Gender Studies minor. For the Spring 2014 semester I have been working with Force: Upsetting Rape Culture in Baltimore, MD. I had seen some of Force’s creative “culture jams” in the media and heard the co-°©‐founder Hannah Brancato speak about consent while I was an Orientation Leader in Fall 2013.

I really enjoyed hearing Hannah speak and was very interested in the work Force was doing so I contacted her and applied be an intern with Force. Force is a completely volunteer artist activist group trying to upset the culture of rape and abuse and promote a new culture of consent. They are currently working on their biggest project, The Monument Quilt, which is a temporary monument and healing space made up of survivor stories. The quilt acts as a space where survivors can share their experiences and feel supported rather than shamed. While interning at the Force studio I acted as the Studio Manager, and my responsibilities ranged from keeping the space organized, working hands on with the quilts to prepare them for installation, and working with and assisting volunteers to make quilts. I am so proud to have been a part of this group and to have contributed to its growth, specifically the chance to help prepare the first hundred quilts and help install the min the first installation of the project in Washington D.C. 

The biggest take a way for me is the sense of accomplishment I have from knowing I helped make the project grow and that other people can benefit from its message. This experience has helped me realize that activist and community service work are very important to me and help me thrive as an artist and individual. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have worked with Force and plan to continue working with them on the Monument Quilt.

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