Taped Stories Voices

Taped Stories: Hear Our Voices

Six real stories shared by brave souls and retold by allies.

I had the Taped Stories voices display in my work place, a safe place for students for about 1 1/2 hours. There was more students then usual on Fridays.

I struggle to get the audio started on time and projecting it in the space. As the audio starts to play with the first story, my supervisor asked me to explain and warn to the staffs and students that may trigger memories. I tried my best to explain and continue playing. I also use their white board to write down the event. Students continue to do what they have already been doing, while some left the space. I was not sure if anyone was really listening but I think a few stayed for a few minutes before leaving and moving on. I took some pictures and went into my office. I went out to replay the audio when it complete a cycle.

I saw the space as an art place but it did not function as an art space. There was many students going in and out, doing their own thing. On the tables, many people were talking over the audio. Some students seems to ignored the loud audio. I started to become very bothered by the reaction of the students. These stories are meant to be listen but I did not sense any. I was offended that no one seemed to cared and I became protective of these stories. I wanted to stop the audio so very badly.

As an hour passed, more students left the space.  My boss stopped to listen for a bit and told me that this piece was very powerful. I didn’t know how to respond beside saying thank you.

 

I realized that my work place, a safe space that students can come and chill was not the right place for these stories. These students was already there and did not choose to listen to the Taped Stories.  If this was an exhibition space, I could image people stopping to sit and listen for a bit and then leaving.

My ideas was that these stories would be project very loud in the public so that people can be expose to these stories. This was suppose to have their stories heard literally. And so that this topic can become normal to talk about, if we keep talking more about it. I am glad to have experiment the audio display in my work place because now I know that these stories are very precious. I am afraid to work with it now.

These brave souls are trusting me with their stories and I think their stories need to be display in a different way. These stories need to be treated with great care, but I am not sure how. I am worry that their stories will be treat with little care and even abuse.  I don’t care if these stories are not getting to many people, I want these stories to get to the right people now, those who may need to hear these stories to fight their battles.

 

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Taped Stories: Hear Our Voices

Taped Stories: Hear Our Voices

Listen to six real stories shared by brave souls and retold by allies. 

Day: Friday, May 5th, 2017

Time: 12PM-2PM

Location: Cross-Cultural Leadership Center
Meriam Library (MLIB) 172
California State University, Chico
400 West First Street
Chico, CA 95929-0747
530-898-4101

This is an opportunity to listen to stories in a safe place. All are welcome to join the conversation and experience through voices. For more information, please contact Maly Xiong at Tapedstories@gmail.com.

 

A Week Afterward

It has been a full week after my silence performance. I was very excited to have my voice back on midnight of April 21. In the beginning, I was hesitant to speak. I am still limiting myself even after the tape has been removed. It took some time to switch back on to talking again. My throat starts to strain after having long conversations. I wonder if that was what I usually sound like before. I am fine now and I am completely comfortable again. I was exhausted and was glad that this was over. It was tough but I did it.

I been wondering if people understood my mission. I thought about the times when I did not give out the notecards to certain people. Should I have tried to even though I did not feel comfortable to do so. I learn that I was still not ready to tell my parents and grandparents. I think that I am still processing this project and my experiences. I am proud to go through this project with many support. I feel relieved that I have let out my truth and knowing that I challenge people to reflect and even speak out. I still think about that little girl sometimes. I hoped this has reached to her family somehow. I hope they know that she is not alone.

I picked up my first book that discussed sexual abuse a few years ago. It was a random book that I scanned over. I remember one particular story of a mother abusing her male child. The child grew up and he stated that it was mutual. I remember reading about a man getting raped in a public bathroom. He stated that it happened so fast and that he thought that this will never happened to him. I remember reading a post on a video where the daughter stated of a sexual mutual relationship with her father. Sexual abuse is very tricky because most time the abuser is a trusted individual and older. And the victim is usually younger or just a child. Sometimes I wonder, why people become abuser. I feel that we need to talk about sex and sexuality. Our education need to do a better job that explains how to protect ourselves. We also need to discussed about our patriarchal society and power and oppression. I think we still got a long way but it starts with us first.

I am still collecting stories for another week. During this time, I will still be reflecting and looking over all the writings on my blog and sticky notes to people. And so I challenge you all to reflect on any injustice incident or any experiences that made you feel uncomfortable. And when you are ready, share with us your story.

I am Ready

Why Duck Tape?

Many people have asked me why the duck branded duct tape? On the first week, one student said that she will ask me the next day why I have duck tape over my mouth. I think she thought It was only a one day silences. But then she figured it out.  She said “It’s because they don’t speak about it…It’s conceptual.” I smiled on the inside because she was correct. So why the duct tape?

The duct tape over my mouth symbolized my silences. Silences from society and cultural norm. Silences from shame and embarrassment.

The duct tape over my mouth for 19 days represent the 19 years that I was silent and the years that I did not think my experiences was sexual abuse. It was only then, after 19 years later, that I have started to share. And now I feel like it is need more than ever.

The duct tape show my visibility as a victim of sexual abuse. It is to point me out among my peers, friends and family that someone they know is a victim. And that they are not alone.

The duct tape is used to symbolized danger and restriction.

So why am I doing this?

Read my Story Follow me on Facebook.

3 days before silences and visibility

I am starting to feel anxious and drain from the thought of being silent for 19 days  and being seen for 19 days. I have imaged the difficulties of communicating at work and in classes. I have already imaged the stares from peers and classmates. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but as the first day gets closer, the fears come up. This whole week have gone too fast. I knew I was afraid and I knew the longer I waited, the more stress I would feel. I told my professors that I would like to start as soon as possible, because I did not want this feeling to go away. But it did. That feeling of courage and passion. The only thing left is fears of actually starting. I will try my very best to find that courage and passion again before April 2nd. I will try to stay strong as I expose the truth, my truth. And I will stay strong to others who have suffered and are still suffering. For her, I am willing to try.

Starting my Art Performance

Click here to see my performance art schedule for April 2017.

As I prepare for 19 days of silences, I am overwhelm of the preparation and uncertainties. Each day, I fear more and more of the possible responds, if any, and the reaction from my loved ones. How will my classmates, and friends react? Will I be able to go though with it?

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