When our mom died, that was the hardest time in my life. Our family was a mess, but Katara? She had so much strength.
The physical burden of carrying a mattress around continuously will be strenuous, but think about how walking around with it will disrupt every class Emma goes to at Columbia for the foreseeable future. Physically, it will take up room in elevators, slow/block traffic on stairwells, but on a deeper level, think how uncomfortable it will make people when they ask “what’s the mattress about?” and then learn her story.
This is putting her story front and centre as much as if she stood shouting in a public space. It is visualising the invisible burden she carries with her rapist’s continued presence on campus. It is disrupting the wilful blindness of the students and faculty to the continued epidemic of sexual assault on campus.
Watch Emma Sulkowicz’s video: “Carry That Weight”