TW: rape, sexual assault
As a survivor (or, on the worse days, a casualty) of sexual assault, it can be difficult to create work that addresses the topic with integrity without compromising my own self-care. Don’t Tell, the first piece in a larger endeavor to paint a well-rounded sonic picture of life after sexual trauma, is the result of almost a year’s worth of consideration. The piece focuses on the negative effects of victim-blaming, placing the audience inside the mind of an unknown narrator as she recounts the ways her world thinks she should have protected herself. The structure of the piece relies on text delivered by male and female voices as well as processed found sounds. In the concert hall, Don’t Tell creates an atmosphere of necessary confrontation, requiring audiences to consider their own roles in creating a future well-suited for the safety and wellbeing of the entire populace. It is my hope that Don’t Tell will foster open conversation about the effects of sexual violence and how to better protect those individuals who might not always be able to run from the things that go bump in the night.
This piece is part of Letters from the Aftermath, a larger body of work I am constructing that discusses the realities and aftereffects of sexual assault and rape culture. For more information, click here.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Brianne Borden, Adele Etheridge Woodson, Julian Iralu, Tess Galbiati, JP Lempke, Cameron Robello, Jeremiah Sweeney, and Chris Marchant for letting me borrow their voices for an emotionally exhausting piece. You guys really brought this one to life. Thank you.
Watch Don’t Tell featuring original choreography by Megan Holehan here:
Don’t Tell is available for listening on SoundCloud: