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The Bristlecone Project

Portraits and Biographies of Male Survivors



Photograph by Elliot Teskey (B&W conversion from the original)

Bristlecone Pine trees survive and thrive in the harsh conditions of the western Rocky Mountains. Despite thin soils, strong winds, freezing temperatures, and limited water, Bristlecones can live for thousands of years, and are among the oldest living organisms on earth.


If wind were wood it might resemble this
fragility and strength, old bark bleeding amber.
Its living parts grow on away from the dead
as we do in our lesser lives. Endurance,
yes, but also a scarred and twisted beauty
we know the way we know our own carved hearts.

-David Mason

©2013 by David Mason

The Bristlecone Project

An awareness initiative of 1in6, “Bristlecone Project: Portraits of Male Survivors” was developed in collaboration with founding Board member, Dr. David Lisak.

The Vision: A mosaic of photographs and words that portray the reality and hope of men who were sexually abused or assaulted.

The Focus: The present, not the past. Who each man is. What defines him. What is the focus of his life. Each man is portrayed through a series of photographs, a brief written narrative, and a video (coming soon).

The Purpose: To portray this reality — who we are now, living meaningful and dignified lives — to the many men who may feel isolated and stigmatized by what happened to them. And to portray this reality to whole communities through the Bristlecone Project website and public exhibitions, providing positive, hopeful role models of men who have faced their unwanted sexual experiences and who learned to live healthier, happier lives.

Unwanted and abusive sexual experiences affect men across categories defined by race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, religion and other characteristics and traits. We are committed to making the Bristlecone Project inclusive of men from a broad range of identities. For more information about participating in the Bristlecone project, please click here.