Violet Gave Willingly
In 1974, a bright-eyed young woman entered university to study electrical engineering, and was soon introduced to a mnemonic for teaching the order of colored wires in a resistor (black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, grey):
“Bad Boys Raped Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly.”
Violet Gave Willingly is a short documentary about a woman confronting troubling memories of her short-lived career as an electrical engineer through the creation of an ambitious and groundbreaking visual art piece combining textiles, electronics and soundscape. A portrait of my mother, Deborah Dumka, the film explores how experiences with sexism compelled her to walk away from her profession as an engineer and shaped her life trajectory as an artist. Violet Gave Willingly is at once a difficult mother-daughter conversation about sexism and gendered harassment, as well as a colorful and cinematic film that draws on the rich imagery and soundscapes inspired by the director’s mother’s seaside studio, as she dives into new territory on her first ever artistic work tackling a social issue.