By: Alma Ayala
City College’s Project Survive discussed strategies for identifying unhealthy, toxic relationships in a classroom presentation offering resources and information to help students end interpersonal abuse and violence.
Since April is rape awareness month, Project Survive has set up the ReDressing Injustice Installation located on the third floor of Cloud Hall from April 3- 27, Monday through Thursday. The purpose of the dress exhibition is to raise awareness as well as to address gender, class and race exploitation initiation from drug wars and sex trafficking.
The display included nine dresses were set up to honor the memory of the thousands of raped, murdered and vanished women in Mexico, Guatemala, and Canada where women have always been in the bull’s eye.
The first dress of the exhibition is called “Untitled” by Cynthia. It’s Cynthia’s 8-grade black graduation dress that has “Viva La Mujer” written on the front and other decorations. It served to symbolize an accomplishment Cynthia would have never achieved without her parents’ sacrifice, which like many left their homeland behind to start a new life in the United States.
The other purpose for her dress represents “peace,” Cynthia said. “Even though decorating a dress isn’t much, I believe it helps keep the memory alive of all the fallen victims of injustice.”
Out of the nine dresses up for display there is only one top that is a button down shirt with print all over and bloody roses attached- becoming a strong message for the opposite gender.
It’s to honor the memory of men brutally murdered in drug wars in Mexico and the cities of the United States including San Francisco. The print represents newspaper headlines that represent the violence on the border. The blood stains and roses representing the lack of flowers not left on their unmarked graves. The last detail is dripping blood like the tears from their departed souls.
Finally, one of the dresses that caught my the eye was a black, yet colorful dress with chains and a blood stained veil attached to it by Ashley.
The dress honored the women who disappear with no explanation. The stained veil served as the fight women go through daily. The chains expressed women captivity following comfort with her freed energy. Ashley explained that the dress she chose was to remember her own pure spirit that came with memories of her grandma on Sundays, or when she took a similar dress to a school dance.
For more information about the installation and the committee, you can visit www.ccsf.edu/survive.