Philomela is the object of a Greek myth. The sister of King Tereus’s wife, she was raped by her brother-in-law and then silenced when he cut out her tongue. The gods turned her into a nightingale, forced to simply repeat the name of her rapist over and over: Tereus, Tereus, Tereus.
Let’s free that voice. And the silence.
This project is meant to represent the voices and stories that need to be told, from both sides.
This projects presents the nightingales, free to sing.
CREATING A NEW PERSPECTIVE FOR cultural stories THROUGH EXPRESSION AND EMPATHY.
A story swap between two different sides of a story.
We collect stories from survivors of their experience with rape, sexual assault and incest. The good, the bad, the frighteningly ugly, from the events themselves to the trauma afterwards to even the following loss, forgiveness or healing. In short, the unlacquered truth. These are stories that must be told.
Then, we pair a random survivor with a random offender. We'll briefly get to know their background, and then we do a story swap. The offender would read the survivor's story, and the victim would read the offender's story, creating a previously unseen glimpse into the other side. We are, after all, three-dimensional and human; this is a chance for empathy on both sides.
We then collect stories from sex offenders about their experiences both before, during and after the offense. From dealing with the legal system, to going through therapy, to handling recovery in the world, we want to give voice to offenders in a way that has previously been ignored.
Finally, we share the stories in a podcast. In the world today, there is a lot of shame and stigma attached with both sides of rape and sexual abuse; the victims are somehow damaged and the offenders are rendered monsters. Both are so much more than the events of their pasts, and this gives them a possibility for peace. It also gives the world a chance to see both through new eyes.
Please check back for our podcast series, and more to come.
SUBMIT A STORY
If you are interested in the project and would like to submit a story, please send it in here. We're looking culturally relevant stories told through a singular point of view: what do you have to say? what does your voice do to shed light on a particular narrative? what can you uncover that the world needs to hear? We will also maintain confidentiality if desired. Thank you for your courage and for your voice.
Please reference our guidelines here.
We would love to hear from you. Thoughts, critiques, questions, emotions. All of it welcome. Thank you for your time and care.