“Most women, girls, persons across the world can recall the clothes they wore when they experienced any form of sexual violence. Initiated in Bangalore, India, I Never Ask For It holds a mirror to the environment of victim blaming, which has long justified, excused, and perpetuated the prevalence of sexual violence and harassment.
Blank Noise has been triggering public discourse through projects investigating, examining and revealing the relationship between social warnings and victim blaming since 2004. This process has since coalesced around the I Never Ask For It project (2015- ongoing).
I Never Ask For It invites participants, or ‘Action Heroes’, to step in by bringing the garment they wore when they experienced sexual violence. The garment is a witness, memory, evidence and articulation of the participant’s experience. I Never Ask For It envisions building ten thousand garment-testimonials, united in sites of public significance, through a process of global co-creation with individuals, communities, and organizations. This expansive vision recognizes the slow iterative nature of social transformation and the importance of being inclusive of ‘all women.’ To participate as an ‘I Never Ask For It Action Hero’, please bring/mail your physical garment to Abrons Arts Center and add it to the growing installation onsite (instructions below). You can also take a photo of the garment and record audio sharing your experience. You are also welcome to add what it means to you, to be a voice shaping the project. Email your testimonials to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your garments and audio testimonials will become part of the I Never Ask For It installation in Archival Alchemy. At the end of our exhibition, they will become part of the large mobile installation that will travel to cities across the world (2020).I Never Ask For It affirms the idea that we feel safe when we are heard, not judged.
Towards co-creating safe spaces: being heard, not judged.
Towards healing: both personal and collective.
Towards resonating, inside out:
No Excuse For Sexual Violence: I Never Ask For It.”
– Blank Noise
Instructions for adding physical garments to the I Never Ask For It installation:
Mail/drop off garments at the Abrons Art Center before May 10, 2017.
Please affix the following label on your package:
Abrons Art Center, Henry Street Settlement,
Attn: Carolyn Sickles (INAF)
466 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002
*Participants may keep their names and details of the incident private if they wish. Sharing testimonials might not come easy. It might trigger difficult memories for you. Recalling an incident and the forms it exists in can be both painful and a release. We thank you for revisiting what you associate with discomfort. In doing so and sharing, you are an Action Hero.
I Never Ask For It is facilitated by Blank Noise, built and led by Action Heroes, allies, communities in India and beyond. To follow or join the project, please reach out. Blank Noise is conducting a series of I Never Ask For It workshops and talks, globally. Recent I Never Ask For It workshops include Max Mueller Bhavan (Bangalore) and Studio XX ( Montreal). The installation at Abrons Art Center is co – created by Jasmeen Patheja and fellow Action Heroes (Sapna, Anon, Freshly Divorced, Unrelentless Furiosa).
Image: Courtesy of Blank Noise and Action Hero Sapna