Horrified that her attacker is still a student at Columbia University, Emma is using performance art and her senior thesis to make a bold statement:
This week, two years after the alleged assault, Sulkowicz, a visual-arts major, has made a promise to carry her mattress around campus every day as part of her senior thesis. It is, she says, a symbol of the burden sexual-assault survivors carry with them every day.Jump below the fold to hear Emma Sulkowicz's heartbreaking story in her own words.
“The act of carrying the mattress from inside my room out into the light has mirrored the way my life has changed, as I’ve brought my personal story out into the light,” Sulkowicz told TIME. “This project is a way to heal one of the most difficult things that happened to me. As I will build muscle and get stronger, hopefully I will also build emotional strength.”
Here is Emma discussing her senior thesis project:
And here is her highly frustrating story of how Columbia University has tried to brush her case (and others) under the rug: