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Red Dress for Women

Essay by   •  June 7, 2019  •  Essay  •  529 Words (3 Pages)  •  32 Views

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At first glance, a red dress hanging from a branch might seem like a fun ending to a night, but the red dress project has apparent implicit meaning behind it. The red dress is a metaphor for the missing aboriginal women over the past thirty years. RCMP released last year that nearly 1200 indigenous women reported missing and murdered, as well as the possibility that the number could be higher due to unreported instances (Black, 2010). The scheme was named the Reddress project and was started by Jamie Black who is an artist and activist from Winnipeg.

The plan of plotting these dresses over campus and highly populated areas across Canada was meticulously planned as it achieved many of its intended goals. The primary objective of the project was informing communities across Canada about the heinous horrors that have been occurring in the past thirty years. Although it may seem that dresses were just placed on tree’s, but in fact, they were diligently positioned. The red dress itself possess symbolism that further enhances amplifies the meaning of the project. The red color of the dress was mainly chosen as the color red is the is most receptive to the human eye. Furthermore, the color red symbolizes anger, fear, aggression, and danger (Alchin, 2018). The indigenous culture also identifies the color red with unique attributes as the color red is used as a linguistic, spiritual device. Most aboriginal cultures state that red is the only color that spirits can see or communicate with, so thus the red dresses are figuratively calling back from the dead and watching over the dresses. The Aboriginals often used symbolism as a way of justifying simple meanings in life and relating them to higher spiritual beings. Another example of punctilious implicit meaning is the repetition of dresses across campus to portray an endless effect. The dresses were placed purposely on long straight roads to create an illusion that the red dresses were unceasing. The infinite dresses symbolize how the number of missing women was endless and as the never-ending road continues the murders of aboriginal women will follow. The last symbol used in this project is the placing of the dresses on the trees. Indigenous culture, as well as many other cultures, believed that hanging was one of the most gruesome ways to die (Smith, 2016). Hanging has become increasingly terrifying over the last couple of centuries, due to the lynching in the form of gallow tree hangings of black people by white colonists. Hanging was also the punishments that witches received upon trial in the late 1800s. Witchcraft was something that most aboriginals believed and used through the form of black magic medicine, thus it justifiable as to why they would think hanging is one of the cruelest ways of releasing one's spirit. Jamie Black intentionally placed the dresses on trees to remind bystanders that these innocent women were murdered in terrible ways, likewise being hung from a tree.

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