The Silence Project: Seeking Artists and Survivors / by Iris Cutler

Written by Khudejha Asghar What is the Silence Project?

The Silence Project is a survivor-led, survivor empowerment project that aims to understand the relationship between silence, trauma and empowerment. Through the use of artistic mediums, it seeks to expand community understanding of violence and trauma and provide a space for voices to be heard, with the long-term goal of spreading knowledge and tools to foster communities that support, respect, and empower survivors of violence.

The first event is a creative conversation in which perspectives of survivors will be collected via an online survey and then visually interpreted by artists. EMW will host a gallery of these interpretations, which will precede an open mic featuring the voices of survivors of violence. We are currently recruiting artists and survivors who would like to share their stories.

Seeking Artists:

The Silence Project is looking for artists to create 1-3 visual art pieces (medium at artists’ discretion) representing an interpretation of excerpts from survivor experiences of silence and empowerment following violence. If you are an artist who has experienced violence and would like to create an interpretation of your own story, we would love to have your contribution. We are also looking for artists to create small-size pieces of art (such as postcards and photos) as rewards for a kick-starter.

Seeking Survivors:

We will be distributing an online survey asking questions related to your experiences of violence and support you received, with the goal of better understanding what helped you decide to or not to tell others about the trauma you witnessed or experienced. We will interview a few survivors about some of their experiences in greater detail as well. Excerpts from the online survey and in-depth interviews will be de-identified to protect your confidentiality and given to artists to create a visual interpretation. We are also looking for survivors who want to share any prose or poetry at an open mic that will occur during the opening reception of the completed gallery.

Process and Timeline:

Email if you are interested in contributing artwork or sharing your story. Once the online survey has been distributed and responses have been collected, excerpts will be de-identified and given to artists. Artwork will then be collected from artists and survivors will be asked if they would like to share any creative pieces during the open mic.


There is no financial compensation for this project. EMW is raising funds to pay for printing and framing of digital art and photography. Artists can choose to put their work up for sale during the exhibition with the option to donate a portion of the proceeds to the non-profit organization Matahari.