Student Who Carried Mattress in Rape Protest Unveils New Project

2 minute read

A Columbia University student who carried a mattress around campus to protest the administration’s refusal to expel her alleged rapist has made a follow-up project– a performance art video about her alleged rape.

Emma Sulkowicz, who says she was raped by another student in 2012, has become one of the most prominent faces of campus sexual assault because of her senior thesis project — entitled Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight) — about what she considers to be the poor handling of her rape allegations by university authorities.

In a statement accompanying the video, which was first reported by New York, she writes that the video “not a reenactment” of her own rape, but “may seem like one.” The video project is called Ceci N’est Pas Un Viol, translates to “this is not a rape”– an allusion to surrealist Rene Magritte’s famous painting The Treachery of Images, more commonly known as Ceci N’est Pas Un Pipe, or “this is not a pipe.”

Sulkowicz writes on the website for the project that the video is “not about one night in August, 2012.” Instead, she says, “I want to change the world, and that begins with you, seeing yourself. If you watch this video without my consent, then I hope you reflect on your reasons for objectifying me and participating in my rape.”

You can watch the project, which contains graphic scenes, here. On Friday, there appeared to be technical difficulties loading the video.

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