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This project was inspired by The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner, the topic of a book club hosted by the
Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa (EFSO). In preparation for this meeting, my daughter, Jasmin, was
reading a number of reviews (a helpful suggestion for anyone wanting to sound smart at a book club).
One review, by Abigail Deutsch published in The Yale Review, was particularly striking. It highlighted
the themes of silence that pervade this novel. Building off of this observation and the meeting’s
discussion, Jasmin casually noted that “in this book, on page after page, the silencing of
women is so loud.” It was an offhand statement, and it was only with the nudge of one of her
great friends, Feliciana, that Jasmin realized the poetic power of this statement. Shortly thereafter,
my daughter gave me a call to share this remarkable comment, and
it wasn’t long before we had decided to design and silkscreen shirts with the phrase and recently
I created this piece with the phrase translated to other languages on a pretend silent film.


the silencing of women is so loud
ink on mulberry paper 
20 metres in length

the silencing of women is so loud – Jasmin Thomas

The vacuum of silence exists in the moments when you are too
busy, when you are trapped in it, making it impossible to be heard.
The voice inside our heads is the only one loud enough, but we
are unable to respond.  Silence pervades within a power struggle
with self and self-worth. 

Women have learned to labour and to wait their turn in the long
fade of time. Time passes at the same rate for men and women,
60 minutes to an hour, 24 hours in a day. Social change doesn’t
move at the same pace for everyone.
For some the movement and the movie is silent.  

When women are undervalued the currency of the collective
is in jeopardy. Women must not live an individualistic life if they
want to be heard, it is in collective numbers that there is a
voice.  The silt of tomorrow is created from the behaviours of today.
When society silences you, it becomes internalized.  You begin to
internalize it and accept it because everything sinks into the heart.

The continuous sounds of women’s silence is deafening. Each word
spoken or not spoken has a weight, a volume that invades a
space in the heart and mind. Women are silenced by men,
by society, by other women and by the voices inside their heads. 


Installation Coa Museum - Portugal
Studio Installation

Installation Process - Cao Musuem - Portugal