12.2.15 | Sarah Dahl
Conceptually, a panel and art exhibit titled “The Legacy of Rape” doesn’t sound…heartening? To be sure, last night’s discussion of how to deal with the effects of sexual violence was heavy, yet it offered a tone of hope, showcasing the creative ways in which today’s artists and academics are addressing rape.
Marianne Hirsch, a professor in Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, introduced and moderated the program; and Columbia Law professor Katherine Franke also spoke. The other panelists were Leora Kahn, the founder and Executive Director of PROOF, the organization behind the Legacy of Rape photo exhibit; artist Patricia Cronin; and sociologist, policy analyst, and New School professor Anna Di Lellio.
Kahn conjured up the image of a Colombian rape survivor she spoke to. who bravely asked “why should I give you my story?” This question set off a chain of thoughts in Kahn’s head. Why, after all, should rape survivors share their stories? The Colombian woman answered her own question: “We want our brothers, sons, politicians to see this, so we can be heard, so this doesn’t have to happen again.”