Throwing Down the Drums: Dancing the Lessons of Boundaries and Violence
I am part of a revolution of word and color. I began to write and
paint after years of silent healing from sexual violence. During that
time I needed my silence, but when I began to paint and write I
discovered that I needed this gentle yet powerful voice more. I
found safety. It was still a quiet safety, but it was vivid, dynamic,
and colorful. This was how I began to untangle and process my
Eventually I began to share my work, stumbling into a dynamic way of
addressing sexual violence. Now I use personal storytelling, spoken
word, and visual art to facilitate dialogue and healing for survivors of
sexual violence and our communities. It is an inclusive conversation,
one with few rules and no script. The basic premise of my approach is
that survivors cannot be left to cope with our experiences of violence
alone. We need our community's support, and we need each other.
In working with diverse communities, art has the ability to
communicate across boundaries. It is a wide stage that gives us space
to emphasize hope, highlight community resources, encourage self-care,
and support survivors.
While I personally employ poetry, painting and stories to address
sexual violence, I see the healing potential in other forms of art as
well. This essay employs storytelling to illustrate how dance can
empower survivors and our communities.
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