This weekend the CSA Centre is proud to host “What Were You Wearing - Perth” organised and curated by Kassey Truesdale, a CPSU/CSA Delegate from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, and Stevie Vincent.
What Were You Wearing - Perth is a survivors' art installation first created in 2013 at the University of Arkansas, that challenges viewers to look inside themselves, and examine their attitudes towards sexual assault and who is responsible.
The goal of the installation is for viewers to see themselves, their friends, their family, or people they know reflected in not only the outfits but also the stories. This realisation moves us away from blaming the victim for violence and places responsibility where it belongs, on those who caused harm.
Kassey Truesdale said it was her hope that survivors who experience the installation feel heard, validated, believed, and know the assault was not their fault, and for the Perth community to push past discomfort and start having conversations about sexual violence
“‘What were you wearing?’ is a question that is intertwined with assault and sexual violence in our society. We need to help people understand why it’s harmful, insidious, and devoid of empathy.
“We can change this narrative, by showing people from all walks of life that clothing does not cause sexual violence; that blame for violence lies solely with the perpetrator.
“We can empower people to recognise harmful attitudes when they creep into everyday conversations, and advocate for change. It's easy to ignore comments at work, jokes in the pub, and locker-room chat because it's awkward to say you disagree - but if we act together, we can make real change.
“This exhibit falls timely at the beginning of 16 Days in WA, the campaign to end gender-based violence in Western Australia.”
Branch Assistant Secretary Melanie Bray said she was proud that the CPSU/CSA was able to support Kassey in expressing her story, and the story of many Western Australians.
“Safety and social justice are core values of any union, and one we take seriously here at the CPSU/CSA.
“While sexual violence can and does occur in the workplace, this extends broadly into society to where the fight for safety continues. The fight against sexual violence is union business.
“Sexual violence is a blight on our community, and bringing these issues and powerful stories to light is important, and we at the union are proud to be in solidarity with survivors.”
- The first installation was displayed at the University of Arkansas in March 2014, and since that has expanded to over 50 countries across five continents.
- The installation is not the actual clothing worn by the survivor, but recreations sourced from second-hand clothing stores.
- Tickets are essential to ensure an intimate and personal viewing experience.
- This event is supported by CPSU/CSA, Stevie Vincent Studios, Heart & Hues, and Safe Walk Home.
- The installation opens on Saturday 26 November and will be open for three days across eight session times, located on the 6th floor of the CSA Centre, 445 Hay Street, Perth.
- Tickets: https://events.humanitix.com/what-were-you-wearing-perth
- Website: https://whatwereyouwearingperth.com/