Photography Exhibit To Depict Healing Journeys of Washtenaw County Undergraduate Survivors of Unwanted Sexual Experiences

Date

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Time

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Location

1800 N. Dixboro Rd

Description

A unique opportunity will be presented to the public on Thursday, April 11th, as 24 current and past female undergraduate students from Washtenaw County will exhibit their works of photography and stories of struggle and healing.

While an exhibit of this type in itself is not uncommon, the bond between these artists is certainly non-traditional. Each has been a victim of unwanted sexual experiences on a college campus.

These individuals were all participants in a year-long doctoral dissertation study called “Finding The Strength to Heal,” conducted by Dr. Laura Sinko. The native of Kinnelon, New Jersey, spent eight years at UofM receiving a nursing degree and a PhD in nursing, which was awarded earlier this month.

“Prior academic research has shown that photography can facilitate the discussion of sensitive or difficult topics, providing an opportunity for shared knowledge building after a traumatic experience,” according to Dr. Sinko.

She was assisted with the study by graduating senior Courtney Burns of Madison, Connecticut. “We had a great number of photographs from Laura’s study,” said Ms. Burns. “We decided that displaying the study participants’ work and their comments could form the base for a moving experience.” Dr. Sinko continued, “This forum will allow the public to learn more about the reality of unwanted sexual experiences and the emotions it brings out in survivors. We hope to use this exhibit to foster a dialogue surrounding how universities and service organizations can best support survivor healing and decision-making.”

In addition to the photography, the event will serve as the premiere for an eight-minute film entitled Finding Strength in Healing, which was directed by Michael Boctor. A 2018 UofM graduate in biomolecular sciences who will enter medical school in the fall, Boctor’s film shares four stories of sexual assault survivors from the 24 study participants. Most importantly, it explores their individual healing processes and shows that survivors are everywhere, whether we realize it or not.

Admission is free to the public for the event at 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, which will take place April 11th from 5-7pm. Free parking will be available on site and light refreshments will be served.

For Further Advance Information, Contact Dr. Laura Sinko at laurasin@umich.edu.

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