Everything After: Opossum Impressions

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Lark Buckingham and Jadelynn Stahl presented their exhibition “Everything After” last week, exploring social, cultural, and institutional responses to sexual violence.  Everything After involves multiple projects looking at how sexual violence has been handled at UC Berkeley and more broadly in American society.  They invited community response and ‘correction’ to Geoff Marcy’s “An Open Letter to the Astronomy Community” after the conclusion of his sexual assault investigation, posting a copy outside of the Free Speech Movement Cafe in Moffitt Library where passersby could comment on it.

 

Buckingham and Stahl then looked further into the institutional language around sexual assault and took issue with its metaphoric comparison of assault victims to opossums playing dead found in Title IX sexual violence training.  She created the Opossum Impressions natural history museum style exhibition of several life size displays of opossums, with accompanying text and video media questioning the use of this comparison in describing victims of sexual violence.  They seek to highlight that even amidst growing discussion of sexual violence and harassment at universities, the language we use to describe victims and sexual violence continues to dehumanize victims and misrepresent the manner and impact of sexual violence.

 

Check out photos from the event below:

2015 Everything After

 

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resized posum

Opossum Impressions

Installation By Lark Buckingham

 

Why are sexual assault trainings likening survivors to opossums? 

 

“Playing dead” as (un)successful metaphor to explain why people don’t fight back

 

In response to the phenomena of opossums appearing in campus Title IX meetings, Lark is creating a natural history museum-style exhibition with three life-size opossums in the BCNM Commons window. Digital plaques shift between description of opossums and survivors, pointing to ways the comparison is both useful and problematic.

 

This installation is part of Everything After, which is an artistic investigation of the social, cultural, and institutional response to sexual violence. The project is a long-term, multi-faceted collaboration between Lark Buckingham* and Jadelnn Stahl**.

 

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OPENING:

12/3/2015

7-9PM

@ BCNM Commons- 340 Moffit

RSVP Below!

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* Lark Buckingham is a filmmaker, critical designer, and MFA student at UC Berkeley. Using humor within a critical queer framework, Lark tackles subjects as diverse as digical privacy, compulsory engagement with social media, and sexual violence culture.

 

** Jadelynn Stahl is the founder and lead coordinator of DISCLOSE, an Oakland-based collective dedicated to the facilitation of public dialogues which contribute to the eradication of gender-based violence. She is an artistic contributor to Everything After, and is working to develop community-based models of engagement for this project.