April 2010

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Blue teddy bear logo launched

The visual symbol of the Break the Silence action research project is a blue teddy bear. This image has come to symbolize security, love, care, comfort and relationships. The plaster across the teddy bear’s heart was designed to offer a sense of hope and healing. Blue underlines the popular idiom for “feeling blue,” or feelings of hurt, sadness and despair. Overall, the symbol signals a call to awareness of issues raised by the Break the Silence project, particularly Child Sexual Abuse/incest, gender and implications for HIV/AIDS.

The angle and shape of the blue teddy is specifically designed to invoke other awareness or activism ribbons, while the blue was chosen since it is the colour that represents Child Abuse in the United States. A Blue Ribbon Campaign against child abuse originated there in 1989 when a mother tied a blue ribbon to her car antenna as a tribute to her grandson, who died at the hands of his abusive father. Similarly, in 1991, the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus from New York created a symbol to demonstrate compassion for people living with AIDS and their caregivers. Inspired by the yellow ribbons honoring American soldiers serving in the Gulf War, they chose the colour red, for its connection to blood and the idea of passion, not only anger, but love, like a valentine. The Red Ribbon continues to be a powerful force in the fight to increase public awareness of HIV/AIDS and in the lobbying efforts to increase funding for AIDS services and research. Likewise, the blue teddy symbol is intended to be used as a consciousness-raising symbol, not as a commercial or trademark tool.

The blue teddy bear symbol was developed by graphic artist and designer Kenneth Scott, in consultation with Kathryn Chan from IGDS, UWI, St. Augustine, Elspeth Duncan, independent videographer and documentary photographer for the Break the Silence project; Tracie Rogers and Maureen Searles from CADV; Camille Quamina, from Arts in Action (AiA) of the Department of Creative and Festival Arts, UWI, St. Augustine, Tisha Nickenig, of IGDS, UWI, St. Augustine.

Break the Silence is an action oriented research project of the Institute of Gender and Developments Studies, UWI, St. Augustine in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition Against Domestic Violence. It is funded by UNICEF and the United Nations Trust Fund for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Upcoming activities include a movie premiere at UWI, St. Augustine in May, a soap opera addressing issues surrounding Child Sexual Abuse/incest aired on national radio, policy roundtables and a regional conference.