It’s amazing what you can stumble upon in the online world. Just yesterday, as I was doing my Sunday morning Twitter shift for The Pixel Project, I came across this wonderful set of videos from The Women’s International Shared Experience Project (WISE).
The WISE project aims to help women affected by abuse learn how to express themselves through film and the Internet. The videos I saw feature nine Pakistani women who had been raped, sexually assaulted or subjected to domestic abuse. The women lived and worked together for fourteen days, receiving training in video production and creating the short film, Half Face, featured on the WISE website.
Some of the women could not read or write, some had never seen a computer before, and many had experienced a drop in self-esteem because of the abuse they suffered, yet they overcame these challenges to create Half Face. This film is a testament to their newfound confidence and courage, but it is not the only evidence of the success of the WISE project.
The training videos, which are listed below Half Face on the WISE site, are just as compelling as the film. They clearly demonstrate how a little positive attention can make a big difference in the lives of abused women. The videos also show the many benefits of creative expression for those who have had traumatic experiences in their lives.
The word “empowering” is overused these days, but it certainly applies here. These women found power in their stories and shared experiences. The compassion and genuine caring between them is palpable. They had their lives changed and, in the process, may bring much needed change to the lives of others.