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English, Theatre & Foreign Languages
English, Theatre & Foreign Languages
UNCP Home Department News English Theatre Foreign Languages "To Touch a Human Scream"
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"To Touch a Human Scream"

December 1, 2017

In October 2017, an exhibition of artist Alyson Bahr’s work served as the cornerstone for a panel discussion hosted in Old Main by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Jumbo Arts International, and various other partners. Attendees and panelists gathered to discuss and understand surviving sexual assault through art and poetry.

Bahr describes her work as intended "to break the silence, to promote community awareness as to the prevalence of the problem, to make everyone aware that it’s the person you least likely suspect that has done it or had it done to them. Too many women fight silent wars and bear invisible wounds. We don’t get medals or badges of honor. We don’t get to line our chests with ribbons and there will be no parades, but these battles have names and dates and numbers. To carry it around inside is to carry a heaviness that eventually is too much to bear. It eats away at you. This is what it’s like to-touch-a-human-scream." Fellow artist Markus Byron praises “her perseverance in the life she has built…..it’s all still evolving as the colors mix, the words float around, unsure, unable, to land in one spot and be locked away. It's powerful, beautiful, dark, but with a clear sense of strength and empowerment." 

Panelists for the event included Ms. Ronette Gerber, Director of Title IX Professor; Carla Rokes, Chair, Art Department; Ms. Amy Williams, Lecturer in COP; Ms. Jenny Finlan, Mental Health Counselor from CAPS; Professor Margie Labadie, a Lecturer in the Art Department moderated the event. Discussion topics included existing university policies for reporting sexual assault, current data for our campus, and, most importantly, how art and writing may be used as therapeutic tools for survival, as in Bahr's work.

Following the panel discussion, participants and attendees met the artist in person and discussed her work. Bahr’s work and exhibit can also be found online at alysonbahr.com.