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'Silent Tears' throws spotlight on gendered violence and disability

7 April 2016
New exhibition explores the dark legacy of domestic violence

A powerful multimedia exhibition exploring domestic violence and disability by internationally-acclaimed photographer Belinda Mason will be on show this month at the University of Sydney.

'Silenced', part of the Silent Tears exhibition by Belinda Mason

'Silenced', part of the Silent Tears exhibition showing at the the University of Sydney. Image: Belinda Mason.

Silent Tears gives expression to the true stories of 12 Australian women with a disability who have endured domestic violence, using saturated water to symbolise the streams of tears the survivors have silently endured.

Each participant portrayed in Silent Tears has either experienced violence because they have disability, or have acquired impairment as a result of violence. Led by Belinda Mason and supported by emerging artists Dieter Knierim, Margherita Coppolino and Denise Beckwith, this immersive display features video and documentary photography to deeply resonate with audiences.

"The power of Silent Tears lies in the hands of those who participate in it. Without stories there is silence. Without stories told, we are voiceless. Without stories heard, we are invisible. It is even harder when the stories are hard to hear and impossible to imagine," said Mason.

"Bearing witness to the realities of these women’s lives should be uncomfortable and challenging for audiences."

Following its premiere at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in August 2015, selected works from Silent Tears will soon feature in Mason's forthcoming address at the United Nations in Geneva on 12 April, for a special presentation commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Silent Tears project is supported by the University of Sydney's Centre for Disability Research and Policy

Event details:

What: Silent Tears exhibition
When: Until Friday 22 April
Where: Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library, Sydney Law School, the University of Sydney
Cost: Free, no booking required

Emily Cook

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