Spirit Square in Castlegar at noon on Tuesday April 15 was a colourful display of the strength to overcome violence and a chance to display the emotions and proclamations of survivors and those that know them in art on t-shirts.
The event was organized by the Castlegar & District Community Services Society.
“The Clothesline Project is a powerful display of t-shirts with messages and graphics that have been designed by, or made in honour of women and children who have experienced abuse…a testimony to the issue of violence and the strength to survive,” said one of the organizers.
The event was well attended with barbecued hotdogs, drinks and of course colourful t-shirts which flew like flags in the strong noon wind that day. Their messages painted across their chests spoke to the testimony of experience and hope.
A drum group, called Wakun, which means Grandmother, entertained attendees with strong rhythms and messages. The four person troupe include Castlegar Fire Chief Gerry Rempel, leader Shemmaho Goodenough, Jessica McLeod and Geri-lynn Rempel.
“We need to work together as Canadians, as people of the earth to pay attention to the knowledge of our ancestors and the wisdom of our old people” said Shemmaho Goodenough. “We want to build communities with all Canadians and inspire people to work together to take care of the children. Grandmothers are very practical. They are someone you trust, someone you can go to, someone you look up to. They definitely do not have to be biological.”
The messages were clear at Spirit Square that day visually, orally and rhythmically.