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Production   /  Alistair Marks

The Art of Survival

The Art of Survival explores the relationship between art and catharsis for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

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Impact areas

ARTS

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

WOMEN & GIRLS

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Alistair Marks

  • PRODUCER Frank Murray

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

“The final stage of healing is using what happened to you to help others”. - Gloria Steinem
THE ART OF SURVIVAL is a mixed media documentary, following a collection of artists around the globe, in their quest to come to terms with a history of abuse, serving as an intimate study of the relation between art and catharsis in survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The film explores the reason for their work not only as a means of expression, but as a tool for empowerment and advocacy.

Through the eyes of Welsh-Chinese, New York based artist, Choichun Leung, Madrid based British concert pianist, James Rhodes, and a final TBC contributor, the documentary will be a combination of verite-style, fly on the wall documentary, confessional interview, and animation. We will tell the story of the individual artists, learn about their craft, their process – and their childhood experiences as the driving force behind their work.

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0.90% funded
  • $75,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $671.57

    FUNDS RAISED
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Donations

Women Make Movies Stromberg Family Fund $671.57

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

This will be more than a story looking at the emotional effects of trauma – this is a story of art as a powerful political tool that can't take away the past but can reinstate the power and personhood of people who have suffered sexual abuse.
The intention is to bring the conversation about abuse, about those who experience abuse, and their triumph through art, into a much more public context. The idea of combining artists’ stories, animation, and scientific commentary, is to create an engaging and accessible argument that while children’s protection and children’s rights have long been a topic of contention, governments have often overlooked the impact of the Statute of Limitations. Such laws require legal action to be taken within a short period after the offence, often before the child reaches adulthood. This means that in most cases the opportunity for legal redress whether criminal or civil is denied. The film aims to bring this issue of social justice to the public domain.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

There is clearly a hunger for change with respect to sexual abuse. One need look no further than the #metoo movement to see this. Some truly courageous people are stepping forward to try to affect change. The film will take this conversation to a global audience. We intend to use this platform to pull the curtain back on this horrific epidemic, and showcase the work that is being done by brave artists to start a conversation, to raise awareness, and to effect real change on a global scale.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

The success of the documentary will be measured by the amount we are able to contribute to raising awareness and affecting real change at the highest levels. If James Rhodes can take the issue to the top of the Spanish Government, we can use that platform and take this to the rest of the world.

This will be more than a story looking at the emotional effects of trauma – this is a story of art as a powerful political tool that can't take away the past but can reinstate the power and personhood of people who have suffered sexual abuse.

As became clear in the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, most survivors have hidden their traumatic experience from family and friends. For a long time child sexual abuse was a taboo subject and this was exacerbated by the fact that usually such abuse is performed by someone known to and trusted by the child or the family, a person in a position of power in relation to the child.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We are currently seeking international partnerships for this project. We have spoken with Save The Children Spain, and are looking for meaningful relationships with suitable not for profits, NGOs, and fiscal sponsors.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

It is our hope that, after seeing "The Art of Survival", a real shift will take place in the way that society, government organisations in particular, tackle sexual abuse. If we can help tip the balance, particularly with child protection laws, the film will have been a resounding success.

The intention is to bring the conversation about abuse, about the abused, and the triumph through art, into a much more public context. The idea of combining artists’ stories, animation, and scientific commentary, is to create an engaging and accessible contention.

Children’s protection and children’s rights have long been a topic of much rebuke – and the archaic statute of limitations set by many governments favours the abusers. How can this even be a topic of discussion in 2018, let alone something that needs to be fought for? And yet, to many, these subjects remain not only a mystery, but incredibly taboo.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Through spreading awareness of our contributors and their messages, I believe we have a chance to make a real change. We have lofty ambitions for our project, with James Rhodes work with the Spanish Government setting a high bar.

The statistics are damning. In the US, 1 in 5 girls is sexually abused, and 1 in 20 boys, while in the UK roughly 1 in 20 children will be sexually abused. At least one third of those children will not tell anyone of the abuse.

Our ideal indicators of success are in real government/legislative based changes. For children to be truly protected. For real conversations to be had, both at a government, and a ground level. If we can help shed light on this insidious epidemic, we will be someway to calling our project a success.

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