QUIET AS IT'S KEPT
Quiet As It’s Kept (QAIK) is a dance project that explores the intersection of historical sexual trauma, southern culture, and silence in the African-American community. As a point of departure, the program interprets the oral histories of black survivors of sexual abuse living in rural coastal North Carolina. The program incorporates dance, puppetry, and music rooted in the region’s traditional folk arts.
Central to this work is a community engagement strategy that works with local and national stakeholders that contextualize the work and spark an active discourse. QAIK directly addresses historical and systemic racism and trauma by centering the suppressed narratives of African-American sexual assault victims. By coming together to share stories, we give language, shape, and form to our experiences and the need for safety.
QAIK will, through movement, storytelling, and reflection, fuse the arts into a reconciliation and revival process that empowers and gives voice to southern communities of color, helping them grapple with the sociopolitical causes and effects of their traumatization and to make multigenerational and transcultural connections through art,
There is a specific history and context for this project. For centuries, the sexual assault of African-American men, women, and children was woven into the fabric of our country. As writer Junot Diaz puts it: “Bodies like mine [multiracial bodies] were raped into existence.” The impact of this feature of American racism is ongoing and has cascading consequences that make African-Americans more susceptible to sexualized violence. QAIK will bring clarity, context, and coherence to the situation by helping define the problem.
Quiet As It’s Kept is a modern dance project that explores the intersection of historical sexual trauma, southern culture, and silence in the African-American community.