Salmon takes on harassment


Salmon takes on harassment

Observer senior reporter

Thursday, November 19, 2020

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TODAY is International Men's Day and actress Iris “Terri” Salmon feels her latest production, Compromising Position , is quite timely.

She hopes it will assist in protecting Jamaican youth from sexual harassment.

“It is something men don't talk about, as they are afraid of being laughed at. Because to complain about unwanted sexual advances would not be seen as manly,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The video, which will form part of the public education programme on sexual harassment, has the backing of the Bureau of Gender Affairs, a branch of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. It comes on the heels of the reappointment of a joint select committee of Parliament, which has resumed its review of a new Sexual Harassment Bill.

The video, which stars Salmon, tells the story of a young man whose eagerness to succeed blinded him from the preying eyes of his elderly female boss. A female co-worker helps him to see the reality of the unwelcomed relationship.

“I want the video to empower everyone, especially men, who may find themselves in a vulnerable situation, to not be ashamed or afraid, but to speak out,” she said.

Salmon's social projects are created through her four-year-old charity, Youths for Arts and Recreational Development (YARD) Empire. The YARD Empire has been extremely active in downtown Kingston communities, like Rae Town and Parade Gardens, helping to create cultural opportunities for the youth.

Since being registered as a charitable non-governmental organisation (NGO) in 2016, it has been involved with providing that kind of social service to youth at the Goodwin Park Boy's Home in Kingston; the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in St Catherine in 2017/18; and, Hill Top Juvenile Correctional Centre in St Ann in 2019.

YARD Empire spreads its wings to the Central Kingston communities this year, conducting a summer workshop and sensitising the youth about gender-based violence. YARD was also invited to host a two-day workshop with the Central Police Community Safety and Security Branch.

Salmon has over 40 years experience in the performing arts, having been cast in 13 national pantomimes, including Schoolers and Trash.

She has worked with the Blue Mountain Theatre of London in productions, including Deportee and Dutty Wine; Devon Haughton Productions of Canada's Mi Get Mi Landed and Macbeth; David Tulloch's Productions' plays, including For My Daughter and the Jamaica Sweet series; and, Aston Cooke's film Concubine.

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