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About the project

Blank Noise began in 2003, in response to street harassment, at a time when the issue was invisible. Over the fifteen years, it mobilized thousands of citizens to become ‘Action Heroes’; take agency tackling street harassment. Blank Noise has worked to affect public consciousness. It builds testimonials of sexual assault. It is built through community listening and furthers public knowledge. Blank Noise is working on attitudes that connect spaces and geographies of violence; victim blame. Most women, girls, in India and beyond, have been raised in an environment that warns them to, ‘be careful’, to ‘protect yourself ’, to not draw attention to yourself. This translates to: ‘If you’ve experienced sexual violence, you weren’t careful enough and you deserve it’ As a result, most experiences of sexual violence are silenced, due to the fear of being blamed. An environment of victim blame justifies and perpetuates sexual violence. The I Never Ask For It mission works to end victim blame by building testimonies of clothing. Participants bring in the garment they wore when they experienced sexual violence. The garment is a witness, memory, and voice. The project envisions ten thousand garments assembled in sites of public significance to arrest victim blame. It relies on processes, including workshops, talks, street interventions, collaborations to build. It is motivated by the personal and collective healing the process offers. Survivors of violence report ‘we feel safe when are heard.’ The opposite of feeling blamed is being believed. I Never Ask For It works towards empathy. It works towards creating a new public memory and reference where 1000s of testimonies of garments will speak their story. Blank Noise asserts the right to live free from fear and defenseless. ‘Meet To Sleep’, asserts the right to live free from fear and defenseless.

 

On Blank Noise

 

Links
Video: TED Talk by Jasmeen Patheja “Everyone Deserves to Be Safe”
Press: Now This About ‘I Never Ask For It
Press: BBC About ‘I Never Ask For It’
Press: Broadly Vice About ‘Meet To Sleep’

About the artist

I am an artist, facilitator, interventionist. as an art student, I questioned the role and place of art. I wanted to create a practice that could intervene and heal. Blank Noise is built through public collaboration and co-creation. In 2009 I was awarded the TED fellowship and in 2007, I received the Ashoka Fellowship.