The Indomitable Spirit
As a physician, I have had the misfortune of seeing my patients endure various types of abuse. Although we often can see the outward signs of this trauma such as broken bones, bruised eyes and swollen lips, I know too well the inward struggles that their bodies have had to endure. The stress, sleepless nights, and poor eating habits are a strong recipe for diabetes, hypertension, obesity as well as a host of other medical problems that are not often considered. Sad but also often forgotten is the fact that these problems will not only limit the victim's life, but serve as the center for dysfunction for an entire family unit. From this realization, The Indomitable Spirit (TIS) sketch and declaration to serve as an artistic expression of what I had noted in my medical profession was born.
"TIS" The film
The plan is to take the sketch to another level and bring to you the film "TIS" dedicated to violence against women. This film will be a choreo-poem to present the lives of women who have been abused.
In the film, you will meet Maria, a 24 year old mother awakening to the smell of skin burning. In this film, you will see Tameka whose celebration of her plan to finally leave the arms of her abusive lover ends with her plans being cut short. In this film, you will see Sandie whose wedding dress becomes her burial robe. This film will allow the merging of dance, music and visual art to bring TIS to us. "Emotion in Motion" will be captured in a film-featuring dance, music and visual art. This is my artistic healing through creative expression. But, it can be your healing too.
Some say music was the first freedom of American slaves. Music enabled them to endure years of unspeakable hardships perpetrated in the face of continued brutality. Thus it is so fitting that music again serves as an expression of pain and despair witnessed by those that are abused at the hands of those with power over them. One of the first and main acts to perpetrate violence against women is to limit movement. So, it is fitting that TIS makes movement the center of expression of freedom. Thus, giving this human right back to the victim – the right to be free!
Violence in the United States
"Dehumanized and slaughtered like livestock" There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion. (The Cost of Violence in the United States. 2007. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, Ga.) Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. (Violence Against Women, A Majority Staff Report Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 102nd Congress, October 1992, p.3.)
"Denied the respect and protection" The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are, on average, sentenced to 15 years. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1989)
"Brutally beaten every nine seconds" Their husbands, ex-husbands, or male lovers beat Three to four million women in the United States in their homes each year. ("Women and Violence," Hearings before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, August 29 and December 11, 1990, Senate hearing 101-939, pt. 1,p. 12)
The Indomitable Spirit (TIS) : The aim is to highlight how abuse destroys one's health, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally and to celebrate the human beings right to be free.