The Men’s Banner Project is an award winning visual, performance and interactive based artwork. Through my art I ask men to make the promise not to use their hands in violence against women, not to ignore or tolerate the violence they witness. The banner is a tool to begin dialogue, show support and build a stronger community through art.
I’m not an organization, I’m an artist and this is part of my body of work. To me art is answering a question. Trying to solve a problem.
The Men’s Banner Project is my response to the missing and murdered women from the Aboriginal Community. I felt compelled to do something artistic and interactive. I noticed that there are many actions, organizations and campaigns run by women for women. I needed to involve men in a positive way.
I began developing the idea in 2007 and started my first banner in September 2008 at the University of Manitoba, Fort Garry Campus.
In the beginning I thought this was going to be a small project that I did one or two times. That it would take me a couple of months to fill a banner and I’d move on feeling accomplished. It took me over 4 years to complete the first one. By then I had hundreds of stories, photographs and video of my experiences. I’ve created this blog to document it all.
The Men’s Banner can be a unique opportunity for men who have never contemplated hurting a woman to publicly say they are non-violent. It is a powerful display that shows the community that many people are around, both men and women, who are dedicated to creating peace. It is not easy to be openly “Indian” in non-Aboriginal contexts. Not everyone is kind or friendly. But I’m making a difference one hand print at a time.