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About Hannah

Hannah Brancato is an artist and activist, and the co-founder of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. FORCE is a creative activist collaboration to upset the culture of rape and promote a culture of consent. To promote this needed conversation, FORCE creates art actions to generate media attention and get millions of people talking. Each of FORCE’s actions is covered by dozens of news outlets and blogs, including Newsweek, NPR, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, The Daily Mail, and Salon to name a few... more

Get It Off Your Chest, Pluck It From Her Breast

GET IT OFF YOUR CHEST, PLUCK IT FROM HER BREAST

Originally conceived of and performed at Püss Füst 2010, Get It Off Your Chest, Pluck It From Your Breast is an interactive performance that invites participants to explore notions of shame and the body.

Get It Off Your Chest is a collaboration between Hannah Brancato, Kendra Hebel, and Sarah Tooley.

The piece was a part of Transmodern Festival's Pedestrian Services Exquisite, the International Drag King Extravaganza 2010, and the 14 k Cabaret in fall 2010.

To read all of the stories collected during the performances, visit: pluckitfromherbreast.wordpress.com

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    One of about 100 stories from the four performances.
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    One of about 100 stories from the four performances.
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    A participant receiving their very own nipple tassel.
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    The reward for a visit.
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    A participant writing their story after a visit with Dr. Sarah.
  • Dr. Sarah

    Sarah Tooley waits for "patients." When visitors entered the booth, Dr. Sarah shared a story related to her own experiences with insecurity, and invited guests to share their own insecurities related to the body.
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    Kendra and Hannah welcome visitors to see Dr. Sarah. Guests would be invited to have a private meeting with Dr. Sarah, sharing stories with one another about insecurity and their bodies.

Community Quilts

  • Paul's Place Women's Group

    I created this piece in collaboration with the women's support group at Paul's Place community center during summer 2011.
  • Changing Face (detail)

    CHANGING FACE January 27, 2010-February 24, 2010 Participants were prompted to create images that represented, "Who you are when no one is looking." The piece is about the strength and resilience of survivors. Created by 8 adults and 22 youth at the House Of Ruth in collaboration with Hannah Brancato
  • Changing Face

    CHANGING FACE January 27, 2010-February 24, 2010 Participants were prompted to create images that represented, "Who you are when no one is looking." The piece is about the strength and resilience of survivors. Created by 8 adults and 22 youth at the House Of Ruth in collaboration with Hannah Brancato
  • CAUTION! (detail)

    This piece was created with the women's support group at the House Of Ruth Maryland in spring 2010. I worked with survivors of domestic violence to create the Advocate Through Art program at the House Of Ruth Maryland from 2008-10. Our goal was to generate attention to violence against women and its effects on families in Baltimore. In collaborative art workshops in the shelter, survivors of abuse utilize art, craft, and design as tools to exercise their voice and find their agency.
  • CAUTION!

    This piece was created with the women's support group at the House Of Ruth Maryland in spring 2010. I worked with survivors of domestic violence to create the Advocate Through Art program at the House Of Ruth Maryland from 2008-10. Our goal was to generate attention to violence against women and its effects on families in Baltimore. In collaborative art workshops in the shelter, survivors of abuse utilize art, craft, and design as tools to exercise their voice and find their agency.
  • Pieces Together (detail)

    This was the first collaborative quilt I created at the House Of Ruth, in spring 2009. I worked with survivors of domestic violence to create the Advocate Through Art program at the House Of Ruth Maryland from 2008-10. Our goal was to generate attention to violence against women and its effects on families in Baltimore. In collaborative art workshops in the shelter, survivors of abuse utilize art, craft, and design as tools to exercise their voice and find their agency.
  • Pieces Together

    This was the first collaborative quilt I created at the House Of Ruth, in spring 2009. I worked with survivors of domestic violence to create the Advocate Through Art program at the House Of Ruth Maryland from 2008-10. Our goal was to generate attention to violence against women and its effects on families in Baltimore. In collaborative art workshops in the shelter, survivors of abuse utilize art, craft, and design as tools to exercise their voice and find their agency.

What Gives People Power

â??What Gives People Powerâ? is an oral history project focused on people defining power and control, based on their personal experience. Through interviews with domestic violence survivors and perpetrators, as well and staff and volunteers from the House Of Ruth Maryland, the project documents connections between perceptions of power and the cycle of violence. The resulting stories give voice to the stigmatized issue of domestic violence, while bringing to light the diverse ways and means that people empower themselves.

This project is a collaboration between Sharlene McNeil and Hannah Brancato, with contributions from Naomi M., Lakiesha F., and Anita R

More info: whatgivespeoplepower.wordpress.com

  • Responses

    Some of the responses left inside the booth when it was exhibited at MICA and the Enoch Pratt Central Library.
  • Responses

    Some of the responses left inside the booth when it was exhibited at MICA and the Enoch Pratt Central Library.
  • Sharlene

    3:10 : Sharlene Sharlene is the co-founder of What Gives People Power; she lived in the House Of Ruthâ??s transitional shelter program. Sharlene discusses her irrepressible passion for using her voice and her creativity. She describes how her sonâ??s father suppressed her voice and controlled her actions. As she becomes an independent woman once again, Sharlene finds that with the newfound freedom to write and express herself, she is better able to cope with daily challenges.
  • Glenn

    3:03 : Glenn Glenn is a graduate of Gateway, the abuser intervention program at the House Of Ruth Maryland. Although he finished his 22-week obligation, Glenn returns periodically for additional counseling and support. He has been in and out of jail for most of his life and is a recovering alcoholic. Glenn describes how incarceration creates the reality that power is about domination and fear.
  • Malene

    3:11 : Malene Malene is a writer and an educator who founded American Heroine Sessions, workshops designed to help others tell their life story; she taught these workshops in the emergency shelter in summer 2009. Malene describes her fierce core, and the contradictions inherent in being a woman. She says accepting the role of the victim can be tempting, but stresses that subjugated individuals must learn from their reality. Alice Walkerâ??s writing helped her wake up to and leave her own abusive relationship.
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    Visitors also have a chance to leave their written or recorded responses to the same questions that interviewees responded to: 1. How do you define power? 2. What experiences have shaped that definition? Family? Work? Relationships? Your gender? Your race? 3. What do you have control over? 4. What is out of your control?
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    Inside the booth, visitors are invited to listen to interviews with staff, volunteers, and clients from House Of Ruth about power and control.
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    8' x 3' x 3' Toy guns, plastic diamonds, paper money, feathers, fake flowers, yarn, books, remote controls, fake hair, mirrors, electrical cords, oral histories, media recorder. Listening booth for interviews about power and control from the House Of Ruth Maryland. Visitors were invited to leave audio and written responses inside the booth. http://www.whatgivespeoplepower.wordpress.com
  • Listening Booth

    8' x 3' x 3' Toy guns, plastic diamonds, paper money, feathers, fake flowers, yarn, books, remote controls, fake hair, mirrors, electrical cords, oral histories, media recorder. Listening booth for interviews about power and control from the House Of Ruth Maryland. Visitors were invited to leave audio and written responses inside the booth. http://www.whatgivespeoplepower.wordpress.com

Power Suit

Power Suit is a collaborative quilt and documentary project about the relationship between self-confidence and the clothes we wear. I invite people to explain the significance of their choices in clothing through writing and interviews. Then, each participant adds an item of clothing to the larger than life quilt.

Cut Pieces

For the exhibition Down Through the Needle's Eye, Hannah Brancato and Charlotte Keniston created a space for a clothing swap, fostering interaction and a consciousness about consumption. Stained or otherwise un-wearable garments were cut up and stitched together by the artists to create quilts in the gallery during workshop days throughout the exhibition. When people submitted garments for the quilt they wrote a few sentences about the garment's history- where did it come from? When did you wear it? How long did you have it? Pockets throughout the quilts hold transcriptions of these stories.

RAPE IS RAPE

This project was a collaboration between 2 collectives that I am a part of: feminist team FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture and the activist collective Luminous Intervention. The project was conceptualized by Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle, and carried out by the two of us along with Dan Zink and other members of Luminous Intervention. Photos are courtesy of Casey McKeel.

Stories of survivors of sexual violence were projected onto the US capitol building on the eve of the final presidential debate. The text tells the experience of survivors, which in a national conversation about the politics of rape, have eerily been left out.

Between the stories, the words RAPE IS RAPE were projected.

Women are twice as likely to be raped in their lifetime than to develop breast cancer. Only 14% of all rape fits lawmakers Ryan, Akins and Rivard’s narrow vision of “forcible rape”. The stories projected onto the capitol building last night are from the other 86% of people who have been raped:

FORCE strongly believes that American culture is uncomfortable to the point of being incapable of recognizing the reality of rape in this country. The organizers believe that the culture of rape will not improve until a more difficult conversation is had.

The origins of “legitimate rape” or “women who rape easy” are deeper than anti-abortion legislation, conservative views, or a few politically incorrect statements. The problems in the public conversations about rape are bigger than election year politics. The image of forcible rape is the only publicly recognized image of sexual violence in America, and it is not realistic. Rapists do not only use physical violence. Rape is not only committed by a few sick criminals. Rape is not a rare occurrence. Rape is much more complicated and much more common. If sexual violence is going to end, Americans need to drop the story of “forcible rape” and face reality. These stories are here to force the issue.

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    “I don’t remember the details of what happened. I pick up clues from the seemingly random things in sex that paralyze me with fear.”
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    “I was drugged and raped by a man I met while traveling in Greece. He offered to show me around and then put sleeping pills in my food. It was broad daylight. Since my rape was not “violent”, the Greek courts did not charge my rapist”
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    “My boyfriend kept trying to have sex with me. I kept saying no. He stopped after I started crying. I was 15. I remember apologizing later for crying. "
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    “I can’t even count the number of time I have had sex against my will. Some of the times I was pressured and other times I was drunk. I’ve never been able to call these situations rape”
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    “As a young girl I was raped by a group of teenage boys. They put money on the bed afterward. I was convinced it was my fault”

PINK loves CONSENT

This was a project by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. “PINK loves CONSENT” was a web-based prank that made consent go viral and sparked an internet revolution. FORCE pretended to be Victoria’s Secret promoting a new line of consent-themed, anti-rape panties. The action and internet aftermath got millions of people talking about consent, rape culture, and the sexual empowerment of women.

  • PINK loves CONSENT- Panty Drop

    After launching the fake website and making consent go viral online, FORCE brought the undies into Victoria's Secret stores. Consent enthusiasts nationwide planted the panties in stores for unsuspecting shoppers to stumble upon. pinklovesconsent.com
  • PINK loves CONSENT- Panty Drop

    After launching the fake website and making consent go viral online, FORCE brought the undies into Victoria's Secret stores. Consent enthusiasts nationwide planted the panties in stores for unsuspecting shoppers to stumble upon. pinklovesconsent.com
  • PINK loves CONSENT- Twitter Screenshot

    The action and internet aftermath of PINK loves CONSENT got millions of people talking about consent, rape culture, and the sexual empowerment of women. This is an example of the conversation about consent that was happening on Facebook during the height of the spoof.
  • Let's Talk About Sex

    One model in the "Let's Talk About Sex" design.
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    “PINK loves CONSENT” was a web-based prank that made consent go viral and sparked an internet revolution. Posing as VIctoria's Secret, FORCE got people talking about rape culture and consent online. On the website, we explained the difference between printing "Sure Thing" and "Ask First" on a pair of underwear: When it comes to sex, words like "no" are for setting boundaries—NOT flirting. THE PROBLEM: Across the country, women are saying "NO" and not being heard.
  • PINK loves CONSENT- About Page

    “PINK loves CONSENT” was a web-based prank that made consent go viral and sparked an internet revolution. FORCE pretended to be Victoria’s Secret promoting a new line of consent-themed, anti-rape panties. The action and internet aftermath got millions of people talking about consent, rape culture, and the sexual empowerment of women. This is the home page. The website was designed by Dan Staples, and the photography is by Philip Laubner. "PINK loves CONSENT is more than a style. It's a revolution.

Connect with Hannah

Hannah's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.