Sarah: It’s been a long road here at Groundswell’s Voices Her’d. I remember when everyone was getting to know each other. Everyone was shy, not many spoke up and at first we weren’t open to talk about abuse. We got to speak one on one with our client. After a series of brain storming we finally came up with ideas that we presented to Day One, our client. This was the first time any of us had ever pitched an idea to a large organization. Of course I wasn’t nervous and it didn’t seem like anyone else was either. A lot of the times it was hard to adjust to changing our ideas several times to meet the needs of our client and a lot of the times I found it a little annoying but I suppose it was for the best.
Being a part of a large collaboration wasn’t too bad either. At first I figured it would be a train wreck because I have never been a part of collaboration this large. It was a little nerve racking jumping from group to group however I did benefit from it overall.
As a group we all got to visit many areas such as a screen printing shop that seemed somewhat of a nightmare because there were a bunch of girls shoved into a closet like area with absolutely no seats. I’m almost sure that I will not be screen printing again after that work shop but at least I left with a better understanding of how to screen print and can proudly say that I do know how to print screen prints.
I think over all the best part about working at Groundswell is the many friends that I made. Everything is worth it when you have supportive amazing friends and I think I everyone in the group bounded like family. We all shared the same ideas as one another and we all knew when each other was annoyed. No one hated one another; there was always a sense of unity amongst us. No matter the struggles and hard ships it wasn’t so bad because there were friends to support one another through it. I never thought I’d see such a sense of harmony among girls. I always figured if you put a group of girls together in a room too long they would all end up despising one another but that wasn’t the case. In fact it didn’t even come close to that.
Michelle: Working with “Voices Heard Visionaries” was AMAZING. I would really love to work with this group again in the future. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to. When I chose to work with this group I was so excited because I felt that because of my past experiences I had a lot to share and give, and so everything i felt, thought, and seen was shared and put into the work that was created. There were a few difficulties I expierenced but I managed to get by them with the help of my group. I look forward to working with Groundswell Community Mural Project for a 3rd year.
Rebecca: These past few weeks I have gained a lot of skills and learned a lot. I learned about healthy and unhealthy relationships. I already knew how to use Photoshop. I had to learn to use Adobe Illustrator. At first I hated it, but now I actually really like it. I was extremely excited to work with screenprinting because I hope to start my own t-shirt company. All in all, this experience helped me gain necessary skills I really wanted.
Suzan: This summer’s Voices Her’d was an experience for me. I learned how to portray a message into a campaign. My favorite part was when we went to Day One to pitch our ideas. The challenges were to draw good ideas. I had a great time here.
Sandra: This summer was a new experience for me. Putting away the experience of putting together a mosaic mural to start a campaign was a very big task because I never participated in a campaign before. I’m actually glad I participated in this project because I would have never met the cool people I was able to work with this summer. Also it was a very nice thing to do for the victims of abuse to help demonstrate what a healthy relationship looks like. I’m looking forward to see the project’s impact on the community.
Shianti: So this summer I worked on this digital campaign for Day One. The project is against intimate partner violence in teen relationships. During the course of the summer I’ve had to commute from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Some days it sucked and on other days it was peaceful and a lot of fun. The project was really challenging because I do not like to use Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. It was also really informative about a lot of things I did not know and made me come face to face with things I did not want to remember. I learned that I could gain legal help if I needed it without the need to inform a police officer and still have control over the situation. I was reeducated about coercion, harassment, and on what consent is. Women and men should be educated about these things, because it is not a one way street. I noticed that many young adults do not know what consent exactly is or what coercion is, even though many have been coerced. Other than that the summer was really fun. I learned about zines, learned about cameras, had a photo shoot, and screen printed shirts. All in all it felt good to make art for this important purpose.
Casey: During this project I learned a lot of new skills. Working with Photoshop and illustrator was a big learning curve since I was use to painting murals. After a week or two I got the hang of it and it started becoming second nature. I really liked working as a team and getting to know the other girls. It felt good to know I was making art for a purpose.
Gloryann: Working on this project made me more open-minded and now I want to speak up more than ever. There was a lot of pressure and tension on the projects. Everything was all over the place like paper, pencils, pens, and sketches. There were times my eyes started to hurt and I had to take a break for 5 to 10 minutes. There were some days when everyone was happy and energetic and some days when we were just tired and half awake.
Cherry: For the most part, the project has been tough. At times, there would be a lot of pressure, especially when it came to having to meet deadlines and speak out in public. I found it difficult to project myself in front of a room full of people, but I feel a little better about it. It was tough coming up with ideas for the campaign, and figuring out what would be the most effective. It was somewhat new for me to be working in illustrator. Overall, the experience with this campaign has been good. I have gained some more experience working in this field. If I ever have to go through this process again it’ll be easier to work.
Emeli: My experience with Groundswell this summer has been amazing. I have learned so much during this summer that can help me in the future. Some of the things that I have learned throughout this summer from the organization Day One are the differences between healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships, the warning signs of an abusive relationship, and what to do if I am in an unhealthy situation or if I see someone else in an unhealthy situation. Some of the things that I learned from Groundswell are how to communicate and work together as a team, how to use art as a tool for social change, how to use technology to create artwork, how to be inspired by previous artwork and so many more things. I enjoyed this summer while working on this project so much and it is an experience that I will never forget.
Jonell: I learned a lot from the Voice’s Her’d project. I loved working on the intimate partner violence campaign. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to make my poster on a specific type of abuse. I was assigned technological abuse. It was exciting working on Adobe Photoshop even though it was tiring but it was worth it because my poster came out fierce. I love my lead artist Nicole and assistant artist Tanya because they helped me to become better at Adobe Photoshop. I want to thank the person who paid me for working so hard.
Tichinia: This summer, Groundswell has been really good to me. I enjoyed doing this project because I learned a lot of significant things I didn’t know. Being in this group made me a better person this summer. I’ve met a lot of new people and staff. I thought working with new people would be a scary thing for me, but when I met all the girls in the group, I liked them right away as well for Tanya and Nicole. I hope next summer I get the same chance to work at Groundswell because it’s a good experience and it can help me in the future, and that goes for school as well for jobs. The girls in the group taught me a a lot and I took it into consideration. I just want to say thank you to Groundswell and for all that they have done for me. You are the best!!
Dominique: This summer was cool and swag. I learned a lot of new things like Photo shop, Illustrator and screen-printing. I met new people that helped me to explore what they do for a living. This summer I made some new friends. I would like to do this again next summer. I hope our artwork helps people heal.
During my time at work I’ve been reading a book called “Hey Shorty” by the Girls For Gender Equity (GGE).This book relates to our topic on intimate partner violence because it talks about sexual harassment and why it’s important to speak up about sexual harassment for junior and high school public schools. This is important to me because I don’t think anybody should go through sexual harassment because I’ve been through it before in elementary school and it was very uncomfortable. Boys would try to grab my butt and I’d be uncomfortable about that, and I would say something and the adults wouldn’t do anything about it. They think that it’s normal, that boys will be boys, and its still like that to this day. This boys will be boys metntality creates a place where guys will take advantage of girls and nobody does anything about it.
GGE explained the steps to avoiding sexual harassment. Depending on how someone approaches you, there are different ways to react. If someone touches you in an inappropriate way, you can defend yourself. You can speak up, or just walk away. It depends on how a harasser approaches you. If someone that works with you that does something you don’t like, you should say something. If it’s someone on the street, I would probably just walk away.
The group sent surveys to all junior and high school students in all five boroughs in New York. GGE found out that only 74 percent of males reported that sexual harassment was not a problem in their school more than 67 percent of the females. It’s important to know that not only boys street harass; girls do it too. It’s more rare but it still happens. This is a serious problem in public schools because the teachers don’t take it seriously because they think that females should’ve never worn something too revealing to make boys touch them in a sexual way. You can be totally covered up and still get harassed, and even if you are wearing something revealing you aren’t asking for it. It’s not ok when adults tell girls who are asking for help that they should expect to be harassed if they are wearing revealing clothes. This connects to intimate partner violence because sexual harassment is one of the key problems of intimate partner violence. It’s part of it because when you’re in an abusive relationship and your partner forces you to do something you don’t want to do, that’s also about consent and coercion and control.
I have a lot of experiences with sexual harassment, mostly on the street but also in school. It makes me really uncomfortable. I learned from my mom that you should just ignore them and walk away, and if they follow you run. I don’t think fathers have to have these conversations with their sons; they might have to talk to their daughters though, and they would probably tell their son to fight back instead of run. It makes us look bad. Why do we have to run because of that? Why do we have to be the gender that has to run?
Photographer Pete Pin came back to do a photoshoot with our awesome shirts. We hung out in the park and ran around, releasing lots of pent up energy from 7 weeks of dedicated, focused, challenging work. We’ll post the photos Pete took as soon as we get them!
We had lots of t-shirts with our images screenprinted on them, but they still needed a little more fixing-up.