making meaning

“Pain is not beautiful but to make meaning out of your pain is.”- anonymous, November 2010

We knew when we read the journal of anonymous reviews of our photography exhibit that we had created something powerful. It was 2010 and alongside three of my close friends, Sherene, Brittany, and Christina, I had helped initiate, create, produce, print, and hang eighteen portraits of survivors of sexual violence in the Student Union gallery on UNC’s campus. The survivors’ testimonials of their experience and search for meaning hung beside their pictures.

“Beautiful, expressive, meaningful, emotionally charged—there is inherent grace that these women possess through their strength that has been captured so elegantly and effortlessly. I stand amazed and in awe. These are photographs of inspiration.” –anonymous

It is my joy now to announce that after spending the past several months striving to breathe life back into a fabulous project that took and inspired me and many in November 2010, we are today launching the exhibit anew, via the newly created and designed website: www.oursurvivorstories.org.

Not only are we bringing the exhibit to the Internet, we have appointed a project coordinator at UNC to oversee and publicize both the virtual and physical exhibit and to promote Survivor Stories far and wide. We are excited for where this project will go in the future—and hope you will help us further the fight against sexual violence in our communities by sharing www.oursurvivorstories.org as well.

For, as one anonymous reviewer remarked in 2010, “Giving a voice to survivors to arm others with the truth is beautiful. These women can be anyone and this gallery brings this issue all the closer.” Help us bring the issue closer.

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