Our fearless survivors took to the streets of New York on April 27th to make a public statement about the sexual assault epidemic. “Denim Day” is an annual event borne out of a 1998 supreme court decision to overturn a rape conviction because the victim’s jeans were tight enough that she would’ve had to assist in their removal. The national organization Peace Over Violence took action in response to this landmark case and has helped make “Denim Day” an annual event since the year 1999. Since this date, the original Denim Day has branched off into multiple cities across the country including New York. Our local Denim Day chapter has expanded to put on official marches, visual demonstrations and advocacy events throughout the year with the help of their partner organizations.
Four of our htE-ers joined this year’s events by partaking in a denim-clad march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Toting visual messages of liberation and protest against injustice, we raised our voices with the hundreds of others who have felt the pervasive and relentless impact that sexual violence has on victims.
After the march, participants gathered for a rally in Foley Square outside of the Manhattan Family Justice Center. htE was given the opportunity to present some of our works to the crowd in the theme of women’s autonomy and human rights. Participants rose to this occasion by channeling their creativity in support of sexual assault awareness to make a variety of denim-inspired pieces. We continued to use our activist voices to explain the meanings behind our work while underscoring the central role of the arts in communicating a message for the world to receive.
Below is a selection of the works created with Denim day in mind that were presented to the crowd. Spanning clothing to collage, htE showed New Yorkers that activism can be shown through any language that best resonates.
For more information about Denim Day, visit their official website at https://www.denimdayinfo.org/