KSAC and Artists Statement:
“Facing Faceless” is a project about sexual violence and harassment prevention that addresses a culture normalizing sexual violence and degrading women.
A core group of four local and professional artists, collectively examined the objectification of women, the invisibility of survivors of sexual violence, and the national silence around the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women. As a community, we have become entrenched in the digital world and disconnected from face-to-face communication which is deteriorating empathy. Artist/Playwright and Aboriginal cultural curator Anne Taylor, joined Micky Renders, social activist, teacher and artist, as well as Barb Hawthorn, artist, and Shelley King, artist and puppeteer in exploring this theme. They confronted how we face facelessness as witnesses, survivors and bystanders, by revealing our inner wisdom, by reclaiming our power and identity, and by looking towards art, culture and ancestors to find resiliency, strength and voice.
Through “Facing Faceless,’ we built community-wide conversations, informed by Indigenous cultural competency, to address the issues of sexual violence perpetrated against 100% of local indigenous women and girls (according to a 2015 needs assessment), and young women ages 15 to 24 through online and dating violence. Working with a variety of media, these artists connected with community through workshops at PCVS and weekly exhibition in the Sexual Assault Road Show to promote May 2017’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month.