About the Clothesline Project
The clothesline project is a national art project started by women in Massachusetts as a memorial to the victims and survivors of domestic violence. The project involves designing shirts to remember the women and children murdered as a result of domestic violence and child abuse. The shirts then are hung on a clothesline and displayed in a public location. The purpose is to create a visual memorial to the casualties and survivors of the war against women.
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women started the Minnesota clothesline in June 1992 at a statewide conference for battered women and advocates in Brainerd, MN. In October 1992, MCBW co-sponsored a statewide display of the clothesline with the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, in which over 300 shirts were hung by participants from all over the state to commemorate their own, or other women's and children's, experience as victims of the war against women and children. Included were shirts designed by Arts Against Domestic Violence for each of the women and children who died from domestic violence in 1992. A 1993 Clothesline honoring the women and children murdered in Minnesota in that year as a result of domestic violence premiered at Battered Women's Action Day at the Capitol in March, 1994.
Clotheslines from 1992 to the present honoring the women and children in Minnesota murdered as a result of domestic violence are available for exhibit throughout the state to raise public awareness of the prevalence and severity of domestic violence and child abuse. Clotheslines from the different years travel to communities throughout the state of Minnesota. For more information on the MN Clothesline Project contact email@example.com
The shirts on each Clothesline are designed by volunteer artists. Most of the artists did not know the woman or child they honored with a shirt, but had information collected mainly from news accounts. Beginning in 1993, the Clothesline has included shirts designed by family members and friends for their loved ones.
Viewers have had strong reactions to this exhibit:
"Thank you for this incredibly moving exhibit."
"An emotional and moving tribute to women and children who have experienced the ultimate degradation - and whose memories are now so alive and special - because of this Clothesline."
"Please make this available at other locations where more of the public will become aware. It is mind boggling!"
"Intense! The art is beautiful, but the stories made me cry."
"Thank you for this memorial. It was painful to view, but it will keep alive in my mind the energy to continue to work towards prevention."
Besides bearing witness to the victims of the war against women, the Clothesline Project is also a powerful healing tool for survivors of this violence. Survivors can be invited to participate in the Clothesline Project by decorating a shirt paying tribute to their own survival. Organizers planning to exhibit the Clothesline may want to consider offering shirt-making workshops alongside the exhibit. For more information, please contact the National Clothesline Project.