With immense courage and dignity, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came before the entire country as a matter of patriotism and civic duty. Her accusation of Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, now Justice Kavanaugh, was no less than heroic. A major national publication has honored her for her bravery.
TIME has placed Dr. Ford on the cover of its Oct. 15, 2018 issue. San Francisco-based artist John Mavroudis illustrated her likeness with words from her testimony and by drawing each letter by hand.
The magazine wrote about why it chose her for its cover just weeks before the 2018 midterm elections:
‘Ford’s testimony and the significance of her voice, we used Ford’s words to create her portrait. As Haley Sweetland Edwards writes in the accompanying story, “the moment Dr. Christine Blasey Ford walked into the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, raised her right hand and swore to tell the truth, it was clear to millions of Americans that something momentous was about to unfold.”’
Mavroudis continued, saying that it was like “putting a jigsaw puzzle together” with infinite “possibilities:”
This particular process is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, but with an infinite number of possibilities. I started with an image of Ford and then drew the words in where they might be appropriate. The memory quotes would be attached to her forehead area, and the quotes about wanting to help I placed on her hand. The hand could be seen as welcoming, but also deflecting. It’s a fascinating process to watch the face take shape, while hoping that you’ve captured the essence.’
The artist used the technique of typography to create Dr. Ford’s portrait. This was only the second issue where TIME used typography to create its cover. President Barack Obama and his opponent, Republican candidate Mitt Romney graced the October 15, 2012 cover of TIME.
The artist used their statements to create each man’s portrait in words.
Illustration by Dylan Roscover for TIME.
Sweetland Edwards wrote in her accompanying TIME article that Ford was reluctant to come forward. Indeed, she had hoped to remain anonymous, but after her name was leaked, she chose to step up. In her testimony, the professor asked:
‘Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?’
The consequences of her testifying have been grim. Dr. Ford and her family have faced death threats so serious that she had to hire security guards for protection. They have had to move at least twice. Worse, Trump has mocked her on front of the world stage. As the writer of the TIME article said, “Her name, even in the best circumstances, will forever be associated with the darkest moment of her life.”
Yet, Dr. Ford chose to speak up anyway, out of what she saw as civic duty. Few people have found that courage within themselves in the moment that calls upon them to be brave. Sweetland Edwards continued:
‘But it was a powerful warning that wealth, status and a record of professional accomplishments were no longer enough to override credible allegations of sexual assault, no matter when they occurred. To young men, it was a message that drunken violence could shadow them all their lives. And to victims, Ford’s testimony was an invitation to speak up, no matter how powerful the accused, no matter how long ago the attack. People will listen, the country seemed to reassure them. We will believe you.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.