Photo Series Gives Rape Survivors a Chance to Share Their Stories
An image of a red convertible. The sensation of drowning. The desire to sleep undisturbed. Photographer Elisa Iannacone found that many rape survivors fixated on a single idea or feeling as they worked to overcome their assaults. To help women and men express their lingering emotions, Iannacone visualized them through her photography project The Spiral of Containment: Rape’s Aftermath.
“The Spiral of Containment refers to the way in which we endlessly replay an incident in our minds, so much so that it makes us fall inwards, deep into ourselves,” Iannacone wrote in an email to TakePart.
All of the subjects in the photographs have been sexually assaulted, as has Iannacone. She was raped several years ago and turned to photography as a creative outlet to help process her assault and recover her sense of self.
“This project is the way I write the last chapter in my personal survival novel, and I think the process itself has been incredibly healing,” wrote Iannacone, whose portrait is included in the series. She is seeking funding on Kickstarter to support a hardcover book of the photographs and an installation in London.
Along with empowering the survivors depicted in the photographs, Iannacone hopes those purchasing her book or coming to the exhibit will encourage others to talk more openly about sexual assault.
“Survivors are becoming empowered and feeling more able to share their stories,” she wrote. “It is our responsibility as a society to listen.”