We welcome requests to exhibit Silent Tears both nationally and internationally. We strongly encourage and support the inclusion of Q&A forums, Artists talks, or presentations by both the artists and participants of Silent Tears. If you wish to hold an event rather than exhibit the work. or would like to invite us to speak at a conference or event about the project please contact us HERE

Silent Tears is a multi-media exhibition by internationally renowned photographer Belinda Mason, and emerging artists with disability, Dieter Knierim, Margherita Coppolino and Denise Beckwith.

The Silent Tears project participants are from G-20, OECD and developing nations, these remarkable women represent five continents and 20 countries including; Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Korea, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador, USA, Canada, West Africa, Mali, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England and the Netherlands.

Silent Tears was originally funded by The Australia Council for the Arts and curated by Kon Gouriotis OAM, and launched at the 2015 Ballarat International Foto Festival by Sue Salthouse of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Panel to Reduce Violence Against Women. The exhibition grew from the original 10 women to 20 Australian women and an additional 28 women internationally with the support of CAB International. In March 2016, Silent Tears co-hosted a parallel event with the Australian Government, Australian Human Rights Commission and CBM International as part of the 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, USA. In April 2016, artists Belinda and Denise presented with CBM at the UN in Geneva to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the formation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In April 2016, the exhibition was displayed at the Sydney University Law Library and was accompanied by a Sydney Ideas discussion panel. In October 2016, Silent Tears featured at the Berlin Photography Biennale.  From November 2016 – Jan 2017, the exhibition was shown at MAMA, Australia. In July 2017, a selection of works is to be shown at the Venice Biennale. on was shown at MAMA, Australia. In July 2017, a selection of works was shown during the Venice Biennale. In 2018, the work was shown in New York across three galleries, and in conjunction with the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Silent Tears co-hosted a side event with the UN Women National Committee Australia.

There are several components to the exhibition, we are happy to collaborate with curators and venues to present a selection of the works, to ensure the integrity and intent of the project is aligned.

• 50 laser prints Duro Clear 100 x 67cm images on clear perspex – suspended from the gallery ceiling (Artist: Belinda Mason)
• 50 framed 50 x 61cm black and white documentary images – using standard gallery D ring hanging system (Artists: Margherita Coppolino and Denise Beckwith)
• a video installation with 20 ipads, can be presented as a single loop projection or monitor (Artist: Dieter Knierim)
• soundscape
• online app for people with sensory, cognitive and learning impairments
• artwork hard and soft copy of text panels for each artwork
• catalog, including essays by artists participants and key figures
• media kit, including press release, 6 images, fact sheet, artist bios and project outline
• graphic design templates for invitations and posters
• education kit or forum discussion outline

The Silent Tears exhibition reveals the lived experience of women with disability who are subjected to violence and women who acquired disability as a result of violence. There are twenty women in the project from six different countries and four continents and the project continues to grow. The participants collaborated as protagonists with the four artists, three of whom are emerging artists with disability, creating works based on the stories of women with disability who have been psychological, physical, emotional, economic, and cultural violence. The power the exhibition, lies in the hands of those who participate in it and have shared their stories which include; domestic violence, forced sterilisation, psychological trauma, female genital mutilation, neglect, sexual abuse within institutions or by family members.

Silent Tears is representative of violence against women globally and ensures that the lived experiences and voices of women with disability who experience violence are included in conversations relating to violence perpetrated against all women. In doing so, Silent Tears adheres to the United Nations (UN) definition of violence against women, as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life (UN, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1993, p.1)

Narratives are an important part to commencing the healing and, are a major component of policies designed to improve the prevention of violence against women and girls with disability. Silent Tears provides a platform to share the women’s narratives to empower and strengthen, to validate their experiences by enabling them to reach out to the wider community in order to shift perceptions and raise awareness of the issue violence against women with disability.

A critical component of Silent Tears is the alignment with Australia’s priorities for women’s empowerment and gender equality through the goals of The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022, which is the Government’s framework for Australia’s commitment to upholding the human rights of Australian women.

Violence against women with disability is an emerging topic within conversations around gender based violence, and is reflected in the 25 November 2015 Parliament of Australia’s Senate Committee report on Violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings and also the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

To support the women participating in the project, key figures in both the gender and disability sector have provided written and audio content to accompany the participant’s stories and experiences of multiple and intersecting forms of violence perpetrated against women and girls with disability. The innovation of an online app for people with disability, enables all viewers to have larger engagement with the participant’s stories. A media kit and education kit for public programs is available. A hard copy book is in development. Letters of support from stakeholders are also available along with media and audience responses.

The Artists Belinda Mason, Dieter Knierim Margherita Coppolino and Denise Beckwith have collectively demonstrated the ability to deliver relevant, high quality, focused events for both national and international audiences with the following projects:

  • Unfinished Business, 2013 – 2017, is an exhibition that reveals the stories of Indigenous Australian people with disability. In September 2013, the exhibition was launched at the Palais des Nations in Geneva by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director General of the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva, and Peter Woolcott, Australia’s Ambassador to the UN, Geneva, to coincide with the 24th Session of the Committee on the Rights for People with Disabilities a body within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. In December 2013 the exhibition was also displayed at the World Health Organisation Headquarters in Geneva. In 2014 it was part of the Australian Government’s official contribution to the 2014 UN World Conference on Indigenous Persons, New York. This project was funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
  • Outing Disability, 2014 – 2016, project reveals the multiple discriminations experienced by Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people with disability. Funded by Family Planning NSW, this project is currently on national tour and has been presented at the Sydney Mardi Gras (2014), International Day of People with Disability Celebrations (2015) and in MidSumma Festival (2016).
  • Intimate Encounters, 2001 – 2014, was an exhibition that explored the diversity of people living with disability experiences. The exhibition toured to 32 metropolitan and regional city venues throughout Australia and nine international cities including Auckland, Barcelona, London, New York and Toronto. This project was funded by Australian State and Federal Government organisations including Accessible Arts NSW and Visions of Australia


For further information please contact: HERE