Yana Mazurkevich

Student Calls Out Brock Turner With Sexual Assault Photo Series

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Ithaca College junior Yana Mazurkevich released her second photo series on sexual violence on Friday, the day Brock Turner was released from jail.

Her series, "It Happened," is her second project in collaboration with Current Solutions, a sexual assault advocacy group that aims to encourage sexual assault survivors to tell their stories. It's a platform for them to be heard.

Yana Mazurkevich

"It Happened" follows her first series, "Dear Brock Turner," which featured photos of women in their underwear holding up white boards with quotes about sexual assault.

Her new series is just as — if not more — powerful than her first.

I wanted to make the viewer an actual bystander of the scene happening

Many of the photos in the series show two people engaging in unwanted sexual situations, with the victim looking right at the camera along with statements about how it (sexual assault) happens.

Yana Mazurkevich

Mazurkevich told The Ithacan,

In the second series, I really went for assault, like pure physical assault, and making it seem like it's real. Just really in your face, like, I'm looking at a person assaulting another person [...] I wanted to make the viewer an actual bystander of the scene happening.

I would say she was very successful in doing so.

Yana Mazurkevich

The fact her series was published on the day of Brock's release wasn't an accident. She shot "It Happened" in her sophomore year, and she was waiting to publish it.

She said,

[M]y first series didn't feel quite finished because I only did five images. … And then I saw on the news a few weeks ago he's [Brock Turner] being released three months earlier than his original six months' jail probation time. And I said that would be the perfect day to release it as a huge finger to his face.

The brutally honest series doesn't just feature heterosexual couples. It also shows mixed genders, races and men as victims. Sexual assault is not something that happens to just women.

Yana Mazurkevich

This matter is one that Mazurkevich herself is very passionate about.

She explains,

I have a lot of friends — and personally, myself — who have dealt with sexual assault. I wanted to bring that to light. With the second series, I wanted to expand on diversity and gender equality, as well as race and ethnicity[.]
Yana Mazurkevich

Mazurkevich's series is literally shedding light on what sexual violence looks like, which is an important step in continuing to spread awareness.

You can see more of Mazurkevich's work here.

Citations: IC student creates photo series directed toward Brock Turner (The Ithacan)