Project Unbreakable and New Young Organizing
Posted by Summer
January 14, 2014
Sometimes social justice can be exhausting. Trying to convince the general public that issues like abortion, birth control, and sexual violence aren’t only important for women, blogging consistently, attending meetings, organizing protests – a social justice advocate’s work is never over. This work can be emotionally draining and every once in a while, I find my commitment wavering. I’m tired, I’m busy, and I’m stressed about my future so why should reproductive justice be one of my priorities?
At times like that, when I feel tired and unsure and dare I say uncommitted, I turn to blogs like Project Unbreakable. The site, founded in 2011 by then 19-year-old Grace Brown, features pictures of survivors of sexual assault holding one or more posters with the words of their attacker. These startlingly intimate and striking images very deeply personal insights into violent and terrible moments that still present the survivor as just that – a survivor. Many of the subjects include their own thoughts and notes, some declaring “I am not a victim, I am a survivor.”
The site has featured over 2000 images including those taken by Brown herself as well as online submissions, often of faceless women holding handwritten quotes on note cards up to their webcams. The people in these pictures and the voiceless words they hold make the horrific reality of sexual assault incredibly real. Every single one of them reminds me why my work is important and why the conversations Choice USA and other reproductive justice organizations facilitate are essential.
According to Brown, “The mission of Project Unbreakable is to increase awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault and encourage the act of healing through art.”
For me, her incredible movement is yet another example of the ways that the newest generation of organizing happens. Blogs are to social organizing today what Zines were to feminism the 90’s. Young people do more than just talk about their problems with their neighborhood friends; they share experiences with people all over the world.
This new generation of young organizers are dynamic, thoughtful, and passionate and the tools they use render them powerful. Blogs like Project Unbreakable enable sexual assault survivors on the other side of the world to speak with one another, share their experiences, and remind other young organizers, like myself, just why their work is so important.