Why Is This Columbia University Student Carrying Her Mattress Around Campus?

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Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz is carrying a dorm room mattress around campus and while lugging that thing around seems like an extremely heavy burden to bear, that's exactly the point.

"I was raped in my own dorm bed and since then, that space has become fraught for me," Emma explains. "I feel like I've carried the weight of what happened there since then."

So, the Visual Arts major made this project her senior thesis. Referring to it as an "endurance performance art piece," Emma is exposing a very private wound and sticking up for herself, whether she gets justice or not.

Emma's alleged rapist was found "not responsible" by the school and her appeal of the decision was denied and the ruling upheld. For that reason, Emma is taking it upon herself to bring the situation to light and promises to "carry that weight" (literally) until her alleged attacker is expelled.

"Carrying around your university bed - which was also the site of your rape - is an amazingly significant and poignant and powerful symbol," her Visual Arts professor said.

As part of the project, Emma is not allowed to ask others for help, but she IS allowed to accept it when others offer it, which she hopes will allow her to educate others about the piece and the message it stands for.

What Emma is doing takes A LOT of courage and we give her so much credit for sacrificing her anonymity for a project that will not only educate, but hopefully empower others who have found themselves in a similar situation.

(h/t EliteDaily)
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