Beyond Defence: The Right To Imagine. I Never Ask For It
By Jasmeen Patheja and the Blank Noise Team
Sexual violence across spaces, geographies, identities and time has been justified through the systemic use of blame. Victim blame silences survivors of sexual violence and perpetuates the cycle of violence. Where and how are narratives of negotiating silence and speech contained?
Blank Noise was started in 2003, in response to the normalisation surrounding street harassment. It is a growing community of Action Sheroes, Heroes, Theyroes; citizens and persons, taking agency to end sexual and gender based violence. Action Sheroes confront fear narratives, victim blame and attitudes surrounding sexual assault. They assert the right to live free from fear and defenceless, claiming the words ‘I Never Ask For It’. Action Sheroes fiercely protect their right to imagine the city, place, identity or world they desire. They leap towards collective action, co-creating the ideal.
Through projects and interventions designed at Blank Noise, the talk journeys through the everyday negotiations of the individual, woman, person in addressing sexual violence. It builds on the Action Sheroes, the artists, and activists’ right to imagine in climates that demands everyday resistance. The talk will also include a performative piece by members of the Blank Noise community to share herstorical/ historical context of ‘everyday resistance’. The talk reflects on the intersection of memory and resistance. The right to imagine is resistance.