Blog: Project Portraits

September 1st, 2006

THURSDAY, AUGUST 31, 2006 – SEATTLE Today, I am a headless chicken running in circles and bumping into everything. I wish I had time for a real blog post but alas, the planning of the first-ever fundraiser for the Fear Project is a challenging time consumer. It is also so far from where this project started–a time of directionless creative energy. Today it is directed, ambitious, and steady (if slow). I hope after this fundraiser I will have more time to work on the creative. Last Tuesday I spent two hours with a prosecuting attorney talking about criminal behavior and the upcoming rape trial story I will document.

One of the things he had to say about rape victims was “…it is so hard and emotionally wringing, but it is such an act of strength and will for these victims to come out and say what has happened to them….I don’t know if there is a more courageous person than the victim of sexual assault.”

You might read that and think, “Oh, yeah, I’m sure it’s tough.” Five years ago I would have. But today I feel I have an inkling of an understanding of what that *really* means. Because I’ve been listening.

I am building a collection of Project portraits which, if you’re in the Seattle area, I’d encourage you to participate in.

You don’t need to be a survivor to participate. The portraits are intended to be a societal collage that, when combined with statistics and definitions, help the viewer conceptualize the proliferation of sexual violence in his or her community.

A lack of disclosure is intended to add to the ambiguity; the viewer does not know which portrait subject has or has not experienced sexual violence first hand however, hopefully, after watching Project media the viewer has an understanding of the potential for the experience in his or her community.

This is not intended to induce fear. On the contrary, the project name is meant to call attention to the fear that exists and through this, and the accompanying dialog, we hope to create empathy, understanding, and educated relational change.

If you can, take part in the portrait project, please do. Info here. And if you can make the fundraiser, please say hello.

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