Photos of sexual assault survivors by an MCTC student earn a place in Made Here


Participants are captured while they share their assault story. The lighting was used to create a cohesive feel to the group of portraits, while offering survivors, who wish to remain out of the spotlight, visual anonymity.

Unbreakable, a new photography project by Jessiena Lake, a photography student at MCTC, in collaboration with the MCTC group Feminist Organizing Change, gives a face to survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

The pictures will be part of “Future: Made here”, a project of Hennepin Theatre Trust. According to the Hennepin Theatre Trust website, the project, “…is a walkable urban experience that connects people to local art and artists in the West Downtown Minneapolis Cultural District.”

Photo by Mark Wasson

The issue of sexual assault and harassment and it’s survivors not having a comfortable and supportive avenue to report and process it has been prevalent in society in general. This was highlighted by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, who, in an interview with Kare 11, said she was a victim of sexual abuse as a child which was why she never brought it up.

“I always assumed when I was done with politics that I would tell my story and be of service then, but I couldn’t wait. It just got to be too big and too important,” said Hodges.

The issue of sexual assault and harassment survivors being silenced is the main reason why Lake decided to pursue this project,

“I think it’s important for people to speak up, share their stories. I think there’s a lot of silence and there’s a lot of victim shaming,” said Lake “…it might be the first time they came forward or they might have come forward in the past and not been taken seriously. So for a lot of participants, this was the first time that they had shared their story and someone listened.”