Monday, October 5, 2015

"Voices from the Line" Response

I believe this essay is my favorite piece we have read so far. Julier does a phenomenal job describing and sharing the Clothes Line Project and the significant impact it has had as a collaborative work both for its participants and in the community. Julier wades through the different shirts, lightly grouping them into which stage in the healing process they might have been capturing. For some, simply telling what happened was enough; giving their stories a voice was a step towards wholeness and healing. For others, their shirts focused "on hope, or on searching for something missing, or at times on the reconstruction of a world view different from the one that was authored by the perpetrator, or one while made violence acceptable" (Julier 370). I took particular notice of the shirts that spoke to perpetrators directly, as a way to distance oneself from their victimized selves, and to claim a new, more empowered identity (Julier 371).

As someone who has experienced forms childhood trauma that have influenced my adult behaviors in different relationships, I can see how not only writing this kind of story but also having it hung up in solidarity with many others would make me feel capable of healing and taking back the control over my life. Julier integrates the idea of isolation and community, an idea we've seen since the book's introduction. Because the feeling of isolation stunts one's ability to heal, writing in this manner is definitely most effective in collaboration and unification with other voices. It brings power to their themes and messages, as well as draw awareness and empathy from the public.

I also find it important that Julier mentions that educators create a space for women to share traumatic stories by feeling protective of them. These women have been vulnerable in every aspect of addressing and coping with their experiences, and thus to allow them to heal through writing, one must do their best to protect their students from shame, judgment, misrepresentation, etc.

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