Best Monument: FORCE’s Monument Quilt

Displaying portions of the Monument Quilt across the country, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture aims to create a public monument of healing for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and the effects are powerful. In April, the artist-activist group blocked off part of North Avenue between Charles and Howard streets with the quilt, and brought out a bevy of speakers and performers, resources for survivors, massages, a spot where you could contribute your own quilt square, couches, and calming lavender sachets. A few months later for their Sondheim finalist exhibition at the BMA (they won that $25,000 prize, by the way), FORCE covered an entire huge wall with portions of the quilt and video installations showing other cities where the quilt has traveled (and where survivors and allies have contributed their own quilt squares), illustrating just how necessary public gestures of healing are for survivors, how confronting rape culture brings us closer to ending it.

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