In the spring of 2015 a 23 year old woman was sexually assaulted behind a dumpster on the campus of Stanford University. The perpetrator  was sentenced to a six-month jail term; the prosecutors had asked for six years. His father begged the judge to give his son probation instead, saying, ““His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action [italics mine].”

The victim of this assault, known as "Emily Doe", also penned a letter which she read as her victim impact statement. So searing was her 12 page indictment that it was later read into the Congressional record by 40 members of the US Congress.

There was another news story in the spring of 2016 that also captured my attention: the increase of sea animals beached on ocean shores, dead from being caught up in nets or from ingesting plastic waste carelessly tossed into the ocean. Visual imagery of this carnage was abundant: the Internet provided videos of the efforts of animal rescue groups to free whales and dolphins from the heavy nets. Unfortunately not all rescue attempts were successful, as depicted in photographs of the sea creatures dying on beaches as onlookers looked on helplessly.

As I thought about these two stories, they converged into one theme, Disposable. It is the visual expression of my outrage, my sorrow, and my anger.

© Copyright Ruth Steinberg
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