From the husband who displaces his indigenous wife from her community, to the violence of an unprompted attack on the body of a young woman, violence is happening every day and to women all around us. It can take many forms and wear faces both strange and familiar. Yet, women continue on in their lives – sometimes with the support of others and sometimes without. In either situation, overcoming violent encounters is the reality for many women throughout the world who, in many instances, must go on with raising their children and helping support their families in spite of what is done to them. Inspired by the testimonials of indigenous women who have been victims of everything from microagressions to rape, The Healing Shawl is both a textile and a performance. As a textile, any dancer wishing to dance for victims of violence can wear this piece and viewers have the opportunity to read the words of women describing their experiences. As a performance, this piece raises awareness and creates a space to honor women as survivors and in memorial to those who have left us. The Healing Shawl allows dancer, singers, and viewers to contemplate the effects of violence against women in their own lives and pay tribute to our women who carry on.
The Healing Shawl was performed at the 40th Annual University of California at Davis pow wow on April 7, 2012. Please click below to view a video of the presentation.
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