The Silent Silhouettes

Stephanie Leitch and I worked together on the Silent Silhouettes project. It started as a moving art installation to raise awareness about domestic violence in Trinidad and Tobago. It also includes performance art. In 2009, together with a short film documenting the experience, it was featured in the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. In the same year it was shown in The People's Space during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (C.H.O.G.M.). In 2010 it has been featured as part of Acción en Vivo y Diferido, Colombia. The original creative team included Stephanie Leitch, Anthony Edwards (as the graphic artist who did the logo and the layouts for printing) and myself. It was produced with the support of U.W.I. Guild of Students, The Network of N.G.O's of Trinidad and Tobago for the Advancement of Women and Girls, and UNIFEM.

Stephanie Leitch is a volunteer at the Network of N.G.O.'S for the Advancement of Women. Since 2007 she co-ordinates all women's commemorative days such as International Women's Day, International Day Against Domestic Violence as well as other gender advocacy campaigns. In 2007, she attended a Media Advocacy Workshop in Jamaica, while there she was introduced to footage from the Silent Witnesses Global Campaign. It is a global campaign to enlighten people about domestic violence; it helped inspire this project.

Each life sized Silhouette represents a victim killed as a result of domestic violence for this year. A total of 18 Silhouettes were made; each with a name tag and a summary of how they were killed by their partner. The research was collected from both the Police and newspaper journalists. Portrayed in this way, the body count becomes both disturbing and relatable. It makes the information. This stimulated many people to stop read; share personal stories about domestic abuse and remember the victims.

The Silent Silhouettes was a moving exhibition as it was seen in three different locations throughout Trinidad in honor of International Day Against Domestic Violence. Within one week it was shown at U.W.I., St. Augustine campus; at the Brian Lara Promenade, Port of Spain and Chaguaramas for CAFRA's march against domestic violence.

For more on Stephanie Leitch, view her blog: