Art project endeavours to end violence against women
A picture may say a thousand words, but the photos in the Picture an End to Violence project say only five: stop male violence against women.
Black-and-white portraits of men who oppose violence against women will be publically displayed on Queen’s campus next month and then available to members of the Kingston community for public installations in subsequent weeks. The oversize portrait exhibition is a visible demonstration of the commitment to ending this form of abuse. The project, which started at Queen’s last year, is expanding to include the Kingston community this year.
“Images of real people make a powerful statement,” says Matthew Ascah, the school’s community service learning coordinator and a member of the Picture an End to Violence Committee. “We want to challenge the common stereotype of male identity as being defined by aggression and dominance.”
The Picture an End to Violence committee, which started with two Queen’s member last year, has grown to 13 members this year, and they are hoping to include photos of 60 men, twice as many as last year.
Project participants include a cross-section of concerned men from the community. Queen’s University men’s hockey coach Brett Gibson, Liberal MPP John Gerretsen, and Kingston city councilor Ed Smith have already agreed to have their pictures taken for this year’s exhibition. Other participants range from Queen’s students to representatives at Kingston Interval House to one man who is in his 80s.
“We believe engaging males of all ages on this issue is important to change behavioral norms,” says Mr. Ascah. “We want everybody involved.”
Queen’s University photographer Greg Black is taking the photos on January 26, 27 and 28. The portraits will be on display beginning Thursday, February 11 at Wallace Hall in the John Deutsch University Centre on Queen’s campus. Men who would like to have their picture taken for the project can call Mr. Ascah at 613-533-6000 ext. 79087.