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 timid european ground squirrel, stopping to smell the daisies, photographed in vienna by julian rad, who explains, “you have to be at eye level with the squirrels. that means you have to lay on your stomach for quite a few hours in order to get them in front of your lens. you have to make yourself invisible. it is important that they have no indication you are there.” (see also: more precious lil woodland buddies)
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MAYBE YOU’RE NOT INTERESTED IN DOCTORNESS OF THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES COOL SHIT
HAVING TROUBLE WITH MATH?
OR MAYBE YOU WANNA DICK AROUND
WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT
Dmitry Gomberg: Akrak Vazha (The Shepherd’s Way)
"This is a story about Tusheti - mountain region in the Republic of Georgia. Tusheti lies near the Chechen border and it is culturally closer to Chechens than to Georgians.
The story is about shepherds who travel every summer to their ancestors’ land Tusheti and than return to spend the winter at the bottom of the mountain. Twice a year they travel with their sheep through the pass in the Caucasus which is 3,000 meters high.
I was staying and documenting life of the Shepherds in the Caucasus mountains for 5 years. These people have been cheese makers since before Christ. Their life is simple and harsh, but beautiful.”