humpback whales in their natural habitat before deforestation forced them into the sea
this is actually so cool
Columbia student will carry her mattress until her rapist exits school
September 2, 2014
While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.
“I was raped in my own bed,” Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. “I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.”
Sulkowicz is one of three women who made complaints to Columbia against the same fellow senior, who was found “not responsible” in all three cases. She also filed a police report, but Sulkowicz was treated abysmally – by the cops, and by a Columbia disciplinary panel so uneducated about the scourge of campus violence that one panelist asked how it was possible to be anally raped without lubrication.
So Sulkowicz joined a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, and she will will hoist that mattress on her shoulders as part savvy activism, part performance art. “The administration can end the piece, by expelling him,” she says, “or he can, by leaving campus.”
As painful as I know the constant reminder of attending school with her rapist must be, I’m glad she won’t be the only one forced to remember. I hope the rapist drops out immediately…or better yet, I hope he faces the justice he deserves.
"The ocean is my cathedral." - Islay Aitchison.
The series is an exploration of contemporary religious-less self-baptism. Some photographed indoors and some photographed in nature, these photographs present the ritualistic and intrinsic quest for self-baptism in the contemporary age. The series can be seen as a portrait of the human condition, our primal search for meaning and self-discovery. Although these women do not identify with a religion, they feel a sense of renewal and reconciliation in certain places. I have photographed them carrying out their religious-less self-baptism with their eyes closed, in their private moment. Contrary to popular and historic representation of women in art, they have voices – a quote alongside their image concretes their intelligence and sense of spirituality and the honesty of the image. Also, they are named; they are real women with real thoughts on the world and their minds. They are not represented as fragile and small in their surroundings; rather, they appear empowered and in the process of renewal. Each photograph shows immersion, and through immersion these women find power and purpose.