It’s imperative that you take a moment to explore the powerful testimonies of the brave sexual assault survivors holding up a poster with quotes from their attackers on Project Unbreakable. Only then will you get an idea of the weight and permanence of Grace Brown’s amazing blog project. Each perfectly framed picture tells a compelling story that can not be denied. Most importantly, though, Brown’s project tells the story of survival. Because the telling of the story takes power from the attacker and places that power squarely in the hands of those who must reclaim it. It’s heart wrenching and empowering.
Brown, 20, a photographer and sexual assault advocate in NYC, has photographed over a hundred people, received over eight hundred submissions and was named “Top 30 Tumblr Blogs to Follow” by TIME Magazine.
Brown travels often to speak at schools, is on a search for the best pad thai in the country, and loves New Jersey more than your average New Yorker.
1. What is your hometown?
Born in Springfield, MA, raised right outside of the city in your average suburban town.
2. With what fictional character do you most identify?
I’ve been stuck on this question for about fifteen minutes, so maybe that means I don’t have one.
3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.
Natalie Portman. I’ve had complete strangers come up to me and tell me we look alike! More so when I used to straighten my hair, though. But I love her even despite the similarities.
4. What work of art speaks to your soul?
Sally Mann’s “At Twelve” book.
5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?
I’m in the middle of three books – it’s terrible how I can’t seem to focus on one at a time. I started Just Kids by Patti Smith, which is such an awesome portrayal of so many influential, artistic people back in their time. Then there’s Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert for when I need inspiration. Finally, I’m reading something called Trauma Stewardship by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. She’s a mentor of mine and has created this amazing movement for those who work in trauma – ranging from social workers to ministers to environmentalists.
6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?
Oh gosh. I listen to a lot of music. I have been listening to Rosi Golan’s album “The Drifter & the Gypsy” a lot,
as well as Brandi Carlile’s “Bear Creek” album.
A Brooklyn musician named I Am Lightyear has an EP called “All of the Miles”, which is also great. She’s really incredible live.
And my best friend Cara Salimando’s music. I listen to her a lot – half because I love it and half because it drives her crazy when I listen to it in front of her.
7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?
Safety Not Guaranteed
8. Cat person or dog person?
Depends on the animal. I really like cats but there have been a handful of dogs who have stolen my heart.
9. What is more important, truth or kindness?
10. How do you define sin?
Doing something while knowing you shouldn’t.
11. How do you define virtue?
Doing something you don’t have to. I guess that’s sort of simple but I don’t think being good has to be complicated.
12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?
No headstone. Spread my ashes in the Hudson River – but on the New Jersey side, in Hoboken.
Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?
I think my friend CK, who runs a blog called Bad Mommy Moments, would be great for this.