Safe Berks, What Were You Wearing

For a limited time in Studio #213

Safe Berks will be exhibiting a display of clothing as a representation of sexual assault survivors for a limited time during the Sexual Assault Awareness Month of April.

At a conference on May 24, 2013, Dr. Mary Wyandt-Hiebert (University of Arkansas) and Ms. Jen Brockman (University of Kansas) received the poem What I was Wearing by Dr. Mary Simmerling, copyright in 2005. Inspired by the poem, in 2013 Dr. Wyandt-Hiebert & Ms. Brockman developed the Installation’s concept and collected donated descriptions from survivors of what they were wearing when they experienced sexual violence. These descriptions were used to recreate the outfits worn during the assaults for the Installation. The first “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation was displayed at the University of Arkansas March 31-April 4th, 2014.

The Installation was born out of an advocacy lens. The question, “what were you wearing?” was pervasive for most survivors. The project’s intent is to place the work of bearing witness to this question’s answer back on the shoulders of the community. To ask the question, “what were you wearing?” cost the questioner nothing, there is no labor in making this statement. However, the survivor must pay dearly in not only their answer; but also, in the burden of self-blame. The hope is that viewers will take what they learn about the harm in victim blaming, and take some form of action in their lives to prevent themselves and others from turning the blame on those that survived.

Exhibition Dates and Times

Sunday April 14, 2024

  • On View: 12pm – 4pm
  • Exhibition Presentation: 1pm English, 3pm Español

Monday April 15 – Saturday April 20

  • On View: 10am – 1pm
  • On View: 4pm – 7pm

To learn more about Safe Berks, click here!