The Clothesline Project

“The Clothesline Project is a visual display of violence statistics that often go ignored. Each shirt is made by a survivor of violence or by someone who has lost a loved one to violence. The color of each shirt represents a different type of violence.” Find out more at or from the resources below. Rohrbach Library’s display is located on the first floor, by the main entrance.

First National Clothesline Project Display

Body Politics with Feeling: The Power of the Clothesline Project – “The Clothesline Project uses t-shirt art to address the issue of violence against women. Others have argued that the Clothesline Project empowers women in general and female victims of violence in particular. In this article we attempt to deepen this argument, first, by tying it to the existing “faces of power” literature. Using this literature, we argue that the Clothesline Project empowers by creating a public space for political action, offering an alternative communicative medium, educating in a context of dismissal and silence, and contributing to social and cultural transformation. Second, we develop the notion of effective power and argue that it amplifies the practical power of the Clothesline Project”

The Clothesline Project: Women’s Stories of Gender-Related Violence – “The Clothesline Project (CP) was established in the promenade of the Empire State Building’s Grand Concourse line in Albany, NY. The CP sells t-shirts that contains the printed statements of women and children who suffered from traumatic experiences. Victims of gender-related violence such as rape, incest, wife battering, emotional abuse and sexual harassment are recounted in vivid statements that are printed on the t-shirts. The project was formed to enhance public awareness about gender-related injustices.”

A Few Lines on the Clothesline Project

“I am the Woman Next Door”: The Clothesline Project as Woman Abuse Survivors’ Societal Critique – “The Clothesline Project, an international grassroots public art project, offers survivors of woman abuse the opportunity to tell their stories through t-shirt art. Although the project hopes to “break the silence” surrounding gendered violence, survivors’ art testifies to more than the existence of gendered violence. A feminist standpoint analysis of survivors’ art may reveal critical and previously unseen insights into the prevalence and severity of gendered violence. This study examines the standpoints of woman abuse survivors by rhetorically analyzing words and images in Clothesline Project art. A collective critique of society’s role in woman abuse emerges. Results reveal survivors’ knowledge of the erroneous discourses surrounding woman abuse and their desire to critique and transform the cultural dynamics that create and sustain woman abuse.”

Challenging Global Gender Violence – “Violence against women and children is a global human rights and public health issue. Gender violence – including rape, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, mutilation, sexual trafficking, dowry death, honor killings, incest, breast ironing is part of a global pattern of violence against women, a pattern supported by educational, economic, and employment discrimination. Intimate partner, family, and sexual violence is a major cause of death and disability for women aged 16-44 years of age worldwide. The most common rationale given for the denial of human rights to women is the preservation of family and culture. While gender violence is a significant cause of female morbidity and mortality, and has long been recognized as a human rights issue that has serious implications for public health and an obstacle for economic development, it persists. Drawing upon cross-national survey data and interviews with women participating in the Global Clothesline Project, this paper discusses the prevalence and patterns of gender violence across the developing and developed world, highlighting the voices of victim-survivors and the strategies that are empowering women and challenging gender violence in Cameroon, the Netherlands, and the United States.”

Clothing their Resistance in Hegemonic Dress: The Clothesline Project’s Response to Violence Against Women – “Through a case study of The Clothesline Project, the author demonstrates how shirts are strategically deployed to resist gender domination, particularly gendered violence, by articulating an alternative political discourse that refutes official and popular notions about violence against women and female subordination.”

Domestic Violence and Sexuality: What’s Love Got To Do With It? – The first detailed discussion of domestic violence and abuse in same sex relationships, challenging the heteronormative model in domestic violence research, policy and practice.

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