Digital platform “Physical Evidence Musuem” is launched



The digital platform “Physical Evidence Museum” is a continuation of the exhibition that was part of International Festival of Contemporary Theatre “Homo Novus” in September 2020 and attracted attention from the public and praise from critics.

The platform presents the collection of “Physical Evidence Museum” which contains everyday items – witnesses to domestic violence that have been donated to the museum by women from different parts of Latvia. These are things that would never be accepted as credible evidence in police or court but here they reveal intimate stories of heartbreaking pain.
The collection is in development and the project creators, Jana Jacuka and Laura Stašāne, encourage any woman who has experienced domestic abuse, to take part by donating an item together with the story. This can be done anonymously online at evidencemuseum.com

“Domestic violence is not only the problem of the victims, it concerns the whole society. The least we can do is to create a safe space where to talk about this experience and break the silence forced on women by shame and pain. There are not enough spaces in society for this kind of conversation, and art can be such a space because of its ability to give back dignity to individuals and make them feel less alone. For the rest of us, it’s a place where we can learn and understand what’s going on around us,“ the artists say. 

The statistics* show that one in three women in Latvia is subject to emotional, physical, sexual or financial abuse at home or in a relationship. Yet only 17% of cases end up in police, while 83% are never reported (*”Violence against Women: an EU-wide survey”). “We want to tell that it is ok to talk about the experience of abuse – there are many of these women and they live next to us. Domestic violence is not a secret a woman should carry alone. When you speak up, you can help others.”

“We want to say that it is ok to talk about the experience of abuse – there are many of these women and they live next to us. Domestic violence is not a secret a woman should carry alone. When you speak up, you can help others.”

Since the premiere at the festival “Homo Novus” in 2020, where along with the exhibition, the artists organized a 24 hour public reading marathon of personal testimonies, “Physical Evidence Museum” has continued to stay active and draw attention to the problem of domestic violence. In December 2020 the museum’s participants did the readings as part of the annual charity “Dod 5!” by the Latvian public broadcasting that was dedicated to the elimination of domestic violence, and in August 2021 they came together with Latvian poets to do the readings of poetry and personal testimonies in “Punctum” literature festival.
In summer 2021 “Physical Evidence Museum” toured to “Baltic Transfer” festival in Warsaw and “SAAL Biennaal” festival in Tallinn where it was recreated with participation of local women.

The digital platform “Physical Evidence Museum” is available in two languages – Latvian (www.pieradijumumuzejs.lv) and English (www.evidencemuseum.com). It is also made fully accessible for visually impaired and people with other disabilities.

The platform collaborates with the project “Archive of Violence” by the Latvian University Literature, Folklore and Arts Institute’s Autobiography section with the aim to document the history of violence in Latvia.

“Physical Evidence Museum” was created as a project by EU platform “Magic Carpets” and the online version is co-funded by Riga City Council and the programme “KultūrELPA” of State Culture Capital Foundation.

 

 

 



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