Art as activism: Project Unbreakable
Note: The links to Project Unbreakable contain emotionally disturbing material. Please consider this before clicking on those links.
Yesterday, Carly wrote a post about artists as activists—those of us, like poet Martin Espada, who feel called to make the invisible visible.
Another artist doing this same thing is photographer Grace Brown, founder of Project Unbreakable. Two years ago, Grace began photographing survivors of sexual assault holding up posters on which they quoted the words of their attackers. Since it began, the project has highlighted more than 2,000 survivors’ stories. Brown uses her art to give survivors the opportunity to heal and increase awareness of sexual assault.
As writers, we know when we’re dealing with highly emotional subjects—death, rape, abuse, etc.—that less is more. In Project Unbreakable what grabs me are the stark words of the attackers against the fragility and beauty of the people holding their words.
Their words are punches to the gut. Their words make me sick to my stomach. Their words make me angry. Their words make me want to use my own voice to bring awareness to this project.
As artists, I believe we have an innate responsibility to bring awareness to the world. How do you want to do that?