The Monument Project is a call to create a national monument to survivors of rape and abuse. We believe our country needs public and supportive spaces for survivors to heal. We see the monument as a necessary symbol for Americans to imagine a day without rape.
As an art and activist campaign, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is installing temporary monuments on the national mall. For next summer we are planning our largest action to date: The Monument Quilt. The Monument Quilt will be a GIANT quilt made of survivors’ stories and covering the entire lawn on the national mall.
The quilt will also be a GIANT Picnic Blanket that will invite the public to sit, eat and talk. For one weekend, our picnic will occupy the mall, like the historic installations of the AIDS quilt. The installation will create a public and highly visible cultural space in which survivors’ stories are honored and respected instead of silenced and shamed. The Monument Quilt and picnic conversations will create the public understanding that will make a permanent monument possible.
Currently, we are collecting stories at themonumentproject.org. Check back this summer to see an online version of the quilt begin to grow. You can participate by sharing a story that speaks to the burden of shame that is placed on survivors of rape and abuse, and the need for a public monument. Email it to email@example.com with the subject line "My Story," and a color that you would choose to represent your words.
Help to make a change from a culture that blames survivors to one that supports and uplifts them.
And, check out the amazing prizes that you can get when you give!
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture is an art activist effort to upset the dominant culture of rape and promote a counter-culture of consent. We believe that a more difficult and honest conversation needs to happen in America to face the realities of sexual violence, and we envision a world where sex is empowering and pleasurable rather than coercive and violent. To promote this needed conversation, we create art actions to generate media attention and get millions of people talking. According to the Huffington Post, “Force is doing a good and creative job with a hard-to-digest topic, capturing the public imagination with their tactics.”
You might know of FORCE from our “PINK loves CONSENT” prank in which we pretended to be Victoria’s Secret promoting anti-rape consent-themed slogans on panties and thongs. FORCE is also known for projecting “RAPE is RAPE” onto the US Capitol Building and floating a GIANT poem in the national reflecting pool as a temporary monument to survivors of rape and abuse.
Risks and challenges
FORCE is a small organization with a big message and a big impact. We’re always excited to spark large-scale conversation, but it does mean we’ll be working 24/7 to respond and promote the conversation on social media, in reviews, and in person.
We are artists and activists, and our role is to produce platforms for conversation, generate a media buzz, and move the public consciousness. During the excitement generated by a new action, we do our best to remain true to that identity. We’re not politicians and we’re not lobbyists. So we are already in the process of finding partners to do the organizing and lobbying, and establishing relationships across the public sector, with non-profits, and with political organizations. Though one of our primary tasks is creating conversation, we need many voices joining ours to create real cultural change.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
It has been so gratifying to receive so many messages, all asking about ways to help this project move forward! Obviously we will need tons of help to make this quilt a reality, from fundraising to awareness-raising to conversation-hosting to the actual quilting and creation of the project. Please like us on Facebook-- https://www.facebook.com/upsettingrapeculture --where we post all of our activities, and invitations to events we're hosting or attending. You can keep an eye there in upcoming weeks as we post requests for volunteers. We will also be posting about the Community Conversations we're organizing for the Monument Project (which are, so far, in Baltimore, DC, and NYC, and more to come!). If you're a student, an artist, a computer whiz, a parent, a survivor, an advocate, an educator, or just somebody interested in seeing the monument succeed-- there is a place for you in our project, and we look forward to working with you.
FORCE does post events we host or attend on our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/upsettingrapeculture), and we also maintain a listserv of volunteers. If you'd like to receive an email from us whenever we need help with an action, art project, or event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address, and the ways you would be willing to help us out. (We can always use the help of people who are skilled at web design, graphic design, social media, and networking!)
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