Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
If Trauma Could Echo is a community-based project that acknowledges and grieves the untold stories of trauma collected from students, staff, and faculty at Conrad Grebel University College and the University of Waterloo. This project accompanies Yasmeen Nematt Alla's exhibit at the Grebel Gallery, Not Traumatic Enough for a Shock Blanket.
When creating Not Traumatic Enough for a Shock Blanket, Yasmeen Nematt Alla posed the question to her community: What stories do we begin telling with, “I wouldn’t call it traumatic but...”. Using some of the answers to her question, Yasmeen took narratives that are not seen as worthy of being traumatic experiences and placed them on objects that carried the words’ magnitude and weight while letting the audience bear witness to the truth of these experiences and, by extension, carry some of the weight of the narratives.
Through the If Trauma Could Echo project, Nematt Alla asked the Grebel and UWaterloo community to share their stories that they begin with "I wouldn’t call it traumatic but...” and as gratitude for the offering, provided a small blanket embroidered with an abstracted excerpt from the story. This exchange offered an opportunity for Nematt Alla to embrace the community from afar, acknowledging their pain and grief as significant and "enough". During a time where we have become accustomed to living with distance and without the embrace of those we care for, this exchange offers participants the care and caress of a blanket made with love, especially for them.
View the blankets:
If Trauma Could Echo is an acknowledgment, an apology, and an embrace. It is a moment of comfort that may not have been offered or may have been too difficult to ask for.