I've just returned from a 6 day conference of IEATA (International Expressive Arts Therapies) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The image above was in a photo exhibition at the Museum of Social Justice, also in Winnipeg. The ReDress project was created as a living memorial to the thousands of First Nation( indigenous) women and girls who have gone missing, raped, abused and murdered. This is a very real phenomenon in Canada and especially in the Winnipeg area, where more than 40% of the population is First Nation, meaning that they belong to a tribe of either Cree, Ojibway, Matie, Danee, Inuit, Lakota, or Ojicree. ( I hope I got this right).
I was stunned by this statistic, though I should not have been, given that women are abused all over the world.
The ReDress project seeks to hang a red dress for every woman, victimized and not brought to justice. This is a national shame which is being addressed, which might give some, some hope. While I was there, the government also proclaimed Oct. 4th as a National Remembrance Day for these women.
I applaud the activist artists who created this installation project. It's what we do as artists. Another amazing artist KC Adams, spoke to us about her billboard photos which aim directly at dispelling stereotypes about First Nation men and women. Powerful work.
What would you like to do?
Send me your ideas and thoughts!!