“Unsilent” is a word that has likely been in the collective consciousness for some time so the specific origins are not entirely known. Jenuine Poetess, founder of this project, has woven this word into the fabric of her poetry. As she has both listened and participated in the telling of truths in her years as community arts organizer, facilitator of womyn’s writing circles, host of open mics, and holder of safe spaces, she has also witnessed the power of one person’s courage to infect others rippling out in a resilient chorus of me too, me too, me too.
There is such solidarity in knowing, again and again, that we are not alone. We are not as crazy or broken or fuckedupbeyondallrecognition as we have been so carelessly made to believe.
The idea for this sort of blog was conceived years ago in the heart and soul of Jenuine. She is a dreamkeeper; sometimes the gestation is a long enduring season.
In March 2016 she, together with a number of other artists, produced a poetry and spoken word show at the Waco Hippodrome. Unsilent :: Survivor Stories was created in response to events and truths unfolding within the community and a local university around interpersonal violence, sexual assault, and rape. The intention was to hold space for survivors–of any kind of trauma–to safely share their truths within the artistic platform of poetry and spoken-word. The hope was that this event would not be the punctuation at the end of a sentence, but rather, would be an invitation to begin so many conversations and movements toward healing and justice.
Out of the me toos echoing that night and in the days after it was clear that courage is indeed contagious as more and more survivors came forward looking for other safe spaces to share their narratives. Another show is already in the works for Summer 2016. In addition to the live performances there have been requests for a published chapbook or access to pieces shared that night to return to for lingering doses of affirmation, empowerment, and courage.
Listening to these requests Jenuine connected with her long-time dream of creating a blog space where people could share their truths and so, Unsilent was born.
Far beyond the poems and pieces shared that night in March 2016, this space has become a home to truths from all over the world.
courage is contagious
when I give sound to my story
and volume to my voice
because there is strength in solidarity
there is power in Truth
because Love. wins. every. time.
because there is medicine in your “me too!”
shame cannot thrive in the light
and we are such a Light
in each other’s darkness