Q&A: Photographing survivors of sexual assault

The Toronto Star, 2013


Photographing survivors of sexual assault: a Q&A with Grace Brown of Project Unbreakable


Grace Brown was a 19-year-old photography student at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan when she began photographing survivors of sexual assault on her blog Project Unbreakable. She now travels around, photographing survivors and giving talks about the project and sexual assault awareness. Recently she was invited to photograph in London, Ont., and Calgary. Though she admits Canadians are “so nice,” the experiences she documented were anything but. “It doesn’t matter where it is — in a small town, big city, on an entirely different continent — it still happens.” This is an edited interview with Brown, who spoke to photo editor Canice Leung by phone from New York.


Read the full Q&A.

My Secret Toronto: Picking berries

The Toronto Star, 2012


Throughout Toronto, serviceberries and mulberries are available free to those who know where to pick them.

I first ate them when a friend returned from Alberta with a sandwich bag full of the frozen gems. She called them Saskatoon berries. I’d never heard of them.

Out east, they’re known as serviceberries. They look like wild blueberries, plumper, more purple, and have woodsy seeds with an almond-like flavour. A second friend sampled some recently, between bites declaring that they tasted like “blueberries on steroids.”

After that first taste years ago, I went several summers painfully without. Then, a friend tipped me off to a whole patch next to the train tracks, probably planted by some beautiful soul who favoured the native Ontario bushes not for its fruit but for its hardiness. It’s the perfect disguise — no one would think to find them in the middle of a weedy gravel lot.

Inevitably someone will stop to inquire while I’m rooting through the leaves: “You can eat those?”

Read the full piece.