The Plaque Project

Overview

Baldwin Lee Photography Award at 66th Student Art Competition

Started in Knoxville, The Plaque Project is created to provide a voice for survivors of domestic violence & sexual assault. Domestic violence/sexual assault occurs behind doors, but by allowing people to share their stories, it’s been a huge awakening to let people know it can occur to anyone you know. This photography series hopes to create a narrative with the stories told. The Plaque Project has won the photography award from UTK’s Student Art Competition in Spring 2013. With this project, one story made it into headline news relating to an athlete. Each survivor has an accompany lasercut made wooden plaque and photo series.

Role

Photographer/Director,  interviewed 10+ people from Knoxville, TN. Designed site. Lasercutted plaques. Edited audio. Consulted with lawyer for on-going cases.

Duration

August-December 2012

Why I chose this topic

During the time there were many media stories ongoing with countless victim blaming. As a society we victim blame more than believing the victim. I got tired of listening to the assumptions made and wanted to tell true stories, uncensored and unfiltered from the media.

Problem

There is not an anonymous way for people to tell their stories relating to domestic violence and people don’t realize how prevalent it is in their community

Solution

Interview/Photograph people from Knoxville, take their stories and provide downloadable audio to educate and help others

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How I found people to trust me

Friends, friends of friends, telling anyone and everyone this was an anonymous place. Emailing the university’s wellness center, teachers, psychology professors, many non profits in the area and just telling them what I’m doing in an open, honest format allowed me to be close to people in order to hear their stories.

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RS. A mother of 3, her jaw was severely broken from her husband beating her in front of her children. One of the many stories were told to me to share to others on how she got out.

Future of the project/Next Steps

The project came to end once my senior thesis began in January 2014. My hope is to get enough money to have a future photo exhibit with audio of each individual displayed for the citizens of Knoxville to visit and listen.

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