Whenever I write about photography projects or read others’ reviews, more often than not, the pieces end with a common clincher: A picture’s worth a thousand words.
I doubt I’ll be the last writer to fall into this trap of lackluster creativity, but sometimes the words are everything and must stand alone. With Project Unbreakable‘s pictures of words, we take this a bit further.
Created by photographer Grace Brown in October 2011, Project Unbreakable is a jarring photography project that empowers victims of rape and sexual assault by providing another place to store the painful memories and words spoken to them by their attackers (and in some cases, the victims’ families) before, during, and after the crimes took place. Here, putting pen to page goes a long way.
Since the fall, Brown has traveled to various cities, armed with her camera and a few notepads and sharpies. Participants in the project share quotes that bite, sting, sadden, and anger, and the final product is an impressive Tumblr with thousands of followers and new photo locations each month.
Project Unbreakable has rightfully earned a lot of attention this year, including a spot on TIME Magazine‘s 30 Must-See Tumblr Blogs, because the project puts a truly diverse face on victims of rape. That victims of rape come from all backgrounds, shapes, and shades would seem like a common notion, but this fact still seems lost on some people. No, it’s not just the slut in the miniskirt or the sorority girl who habitually drinks too much come Friday night. The quotes you’ll find scrawled on the site are clutched by men and women of all ethnicities, and variations of ‘You know you want it’ ring just as harsh in Spanish and sign language.
This Sunday, July 15, Project Unbreakable invites NYC’s rape victims to share their stories during its NYC Photo Day. Brown will set up shop at 3:00-7:00 p.m., and if you or someone you know would like to get involved, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment and location info.
You may also participate by submitting your own image. Simply email email@example.com, and the pictures will appear on Project Unbreakable’s sister site. You can see some of the submissions here.
Editor’s Note: Project Unbreakable Disclaimer - Grace [Brown], or anyone else associated with this project, is not qualified to give certified advice on this subject. If you are struggling, RAINN has a free, confidential, 24/7 sexual assault hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN also has an online hotline.