Fragmentary, The Event
Smashing Plates, Smashing Ignorance—Embracing New Beginnings
by Ashlee Bednar, Unspoken Voices Contributor
On Saturday, October 6, 2018, Unspoken Voices held an event called Fragmentary: A Mosaic Project at Slut Walk, Twin Cities. Fragmentary was a healing event that was created from the idea that if you break a plate and say “sorry”, it doesn’t fix the plate. With many, sorry is sometimes not enough to repair the damage that can be caused by people or events.
This, however, does not mean that the person is broken forever; they are just changed and can be beautiful again. Unspoken Voices asked people to write on plates what broke them throughout their lives. People wrote all kinds of things from being blind and having to live with a disability, sexual assaults, relationships, money problems, bullying, and many more different struggles. Then the writer broke the plate to symbolize them taking the power back from what broke them. After they added the shattered pieces to a communal mosaic that represented the new beauty that comes with piecing yourself back together and also how you are not alone. Everyone has to go through things throughout their lives that will change them forever.
The event was very powerful to witness. At the event we had over 100 people participate and many chose to share their stories with us. To hear the struggles and strength from all of these incredible people was truly inspiring. The battles that have been fought and those that are still fighting showed so much strength. It was also amazing to see the support strangers were giving each other as they just listened.
Even just watching the event go on was powerful and inspiring. As I looked out across the crowd gathered to participate in the event, you could see the various aspects of healing happening right before your eyes. Some people easily wrote their words on the plate for battles already conquered while others struggled with admitting what truly broke them. The process behind writing down what broke you is difficult in itself—having to admit what is truly to blame and to write it down in such a public setting shows true strength.
At the breaking station people smashed their battles and those that broke them. Some people cried, others rejoiced. Smashing the plates allowed some people start to let go of the past and what they cannot change.
After the breaking station participants went to glue their broken pieces to the communal mosaic. It was interesting to see the different ways people completed this step. Some decided to weave their pieces in with others and some tried to reassemble their plates. Some were quiet during this process and some chatted with other participants. Each person had their own process but overall it seemed as though people walked away better after the final piece was put into place.
Fragmentary: A Mosaic Project was one of the best and most incredible events I have ever attended and helped organize. It was a very successful event. We hope to see more healing and are excited to share this experience with more individuals.