The Clothesline Project

I began this project contemplating what kind content would be worth the time of the viewers of this show. I researched controversial local issues that I thought might matter to everyone, especially those surrounding domestic abuse and violence, of which I greatly lacked knowledge or experience. I expected to find some revelatory controversial subject or cause, but ultimately found that I might be wildly unqualified to add a new perspective to the conversation of what is already being said and done for survivors of domestic violence.

Guided by my research I decided to use this as an opportunity to help educate and raise awareness of what organizations already exist to help survivors of these harrowing experiences.

One educational campaign that sheds light on the statistics of violence within our communities is the Clothesline Project. It is a grassroots national campaign with an estimated number of over 500 projects in 41 states and 5 countries.

Despite being such a large and influential organization there is a lack in visual identity for the brand of the Clothesline Project. Additionally I found that the project had a profound effect on those that attended the exhibit, but that reach was limited due to the fact that no digital format of the exhibit exists from any organzation that has put on a Clothesline Project.

I began documenting, photographing, and transcribing the t-shirts that Utah Valley Clothesline Project has collected over the years so that the stories of the survivors can be seen even when no exhibit is currently running.

Unfortunately I was unable to finish documenting all the several thousand shirts and only made it about a third of the way through the archives due to Cover-19.

While documenting transcribing the shirts I repeatedly felt such a strong desire to somehow help the victims in any way possible - knowing the pain that they had gone through if only I could eliminate that hurt. Viewers of the exhibit often feel overwhelmed by the harrowing messages.

It is shocking to begin to understand just how common the violence and abuse can be in our communities and viewers walk away wondering what they can do to help. Understanding the lasting emotional, physical, and psychological effects of violence and abuse is essential for us to be able to begin to have compassion and look to lift those that need help.

Below is an interactive gallery of t-shirts created by survivors of all forms of violence and abuse. Below is less than 1% of the tshirts that have been created from individuals in Utah Valley since the first display of the Clothesline Project only a few years ago.

Click + Drag to view each t-shirt.