College Artist Corner

Explaining the Art of, “Stop and END”

Posted by: Amiris J. Brown on: March 25, 2012

Stop the Silence End Rape Culture!

Stop and END was a mural of words I did, in addition I took the photographs compiled here to document the work in its entirety. This work by Amiris Brown (me), is under a limited Creative Commons license, in that it cannot be used for commercial purposes.

 

This art piece sought to challenge Rape Culture as a whole, but most of all focused on breaking the silence within Appalachian State University (ASU). I picked the phrases, “Stop [t]he Silence” and “END RAPE CULTURE” so that accountability could begin to be established through an engagement promoting awareness within the ASU community. To stress the idea of accountability, I repeated a single word throughout the background. My goal was to get people talking about the sexual assault case(s), while encouraging people to begin the process of ending Rape Culture.

I wanted this piece to start conversations about what silence means to each individual viewing this work within the context of Rape Culture. However, there are various meanings I wanted to express for myself to include within the idea of stopping the silence. Stop the silence phrase was linked to the message of ending Rape Culture, because silence is a key factor that continues to perpetuate Rape Culture. The purpose of picking the second phrase of, “END RAPE CULTURE” was to generate awareness on what Rape Culture is, and for people who have not defined Rape Culture for themselves to start thinking about what it is and how to end it.

To emphasise the two main phrases, I chose to add two additional words that were repeated within the background. The word, “speak” was repeated on the wall associated with stopping the silence, while the word, “NAME” was repeated on the wall associated with ending Rape Culture. Using such words were deliberate. I wanted people to begin to think about what it means to break the silence Rape Culture creates. I also wanted people to begin to think about what it means to hold either a person(s), organization(s), and/or institution(s) accountable. With such a message, I wanted to empower people with the possibility that they can end Rape Culture.

Inspiration to only use words came from:

My research in understanding how to approach this piece included:

  1. The Appalachian State University Rape Culture: http://www.collegeartistcorner.com/?p=52
  2. ASU football players’ suspensions reinstated after protest: http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2012/mar/11/wsmain01-asu-football-players-suspensions-re-insta-ar-2028209/
  3. Suspensions of ASU football players reinstated: http://ashemountaintimes.com/News/story/Suspensions-of-ASU-football-players-reinstated-id-004494
  4. How Date Rape is Communicated on Campus: http://www.natcom.org/CommCurrentsArticle.aspx?id=953
  5. What Is Rape Culture?: http://thefbomb.org/2011/03/what-is-rape-culture/
  6. Burnett, A., Mattern, J. L., Herakova, L. L., Kahl, D. H., Tobola, C., & Bornsen, S. E. (2009). Communicating/Muting Date Rape: A Co-Cultural Theoretical Analysis of Communication Factors Related to Rape Culture on a College Campus. Journal Of Applied Communication Research, 37(4), 465-485. doi:10.1080/00909880903233150
  7. Klaw, E., Lonsway, K., Berg, D., Waldo, C., Kothari, C., Mazurek, C., & Hegeman, K. (2005). Challenging rape culture: awareness, emotion and action through campus acquaintance rape education. Women & Therapy, 28(2), 47-63.
  8. Ullman, S. E. (2010). Challenging the rape culture: Recommendations for change. In S. E. Ullman (Ed.) , Talking about sexual assault: Society’s response to survivors (pp. 145-165). Washington, DC US: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/12083-007

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