Sarah Jordan '16 and Meghan McDonough '16, Projects for Peace recipients for Summer 2016, report back after their experience in Argentina.
"Our initial goal for this project was to support and call attention to the efforts and experiences of people combating gender violence through the arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We planned to create short videos profiling each artist and activist as well as a 20-minute documentary film and use them to help the artists build their network and connect like-minded individuals.
Our project became much larger and more comprehensive than we had originally planned. We interviewed fourteen subjects and filmed at five protests/demonstrations in addition to several performances and events. After we interviewed our first subjects the first week of June, our network began to expand quickly through word of mouth on social media, and we saw an opportunity to weave a larger, more comprehensive narrative.
We believe that our project will have a long-term local impact in large part because the people that we’ve interviewed are eager to see the finished product and share it within their networks. We hope that our project will contribute to peace by raising awareness about the root causes of gender-based violence so that we can show how local artists and activists are addressing it from the bottom up.
This project has opened our minds and made us think about the vital role that media and the arts play in either reproducing hegemonic stereotypes or creating new realities. It has also changed our definition of “normal,” when it comes to relationships and gender identity specifically. We plan to share these new ideas through our film in the hopes that other people will also change the way they think about stereotypes that, when repeated over a lifetime, normalize gender-based violence."