FEAR: A Project on Rape and Recovery


Tim Matsui

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FEAR is a documentary project combining both photo and radio journalism in a video production to tell personal stories of sexual violence. Not simply an exercise in rape recollection, FEAR documents real people coping with the lasting effects of sexual assault.

Each story is a stand-alone 'chapter' intended as part of an overarching production for the editorial and advocacy markets. Two chapters are currently being distributed to colleges, schools, and clinics by Intermedia, Inc., an educational media company. In these stories we can find our relationship to the violence and hopefully make sense of it.  

FEAR’s goals are to increase dialog about sexual violence and its prevention, to help build a community less likely to commit acts of sexual violence, and to help build a community more supportive of survivors of sexual violence.


Along with photojournalism experience in wires, agencies, magazines, and long-term projects, Tim Matsui has nearly 15 years’ experience reporting on trauma and victimization, several years founding and running a non profit emphasizing community engagement, and has a collaborative, relational style for intimate visual storytelling.

He won the inaugural Women’s Initiative Photography Grant from the Alexia Foundation for his project Leaving the Life, a look at grassroots efforts to address domestic minor sex trafficking. Working with MediaStorm, Matsui’s video from this grant is now a feature length documentary film titled The Long Night, currently on the market for distribution.

Previously, Matsui won grants from The Fund for Investigative Journalism, The Open Society Foundations, and King County 4Culture. He shares an Emmy nomination and an Overseas Press Club award, was a finalist for the Knight Journalism Fellowship and Stanford, selected for the Critical Mass Top 50, and was one of three participants in a two-week journalism lecturing tour at the invitation of the US Embassy in South Africa.


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Current Projects

3 Millimeters

Photographer: Greg Kahn

Three extra millimeters of water every year will make land vanish. It will swallow communities. It will change environmental habitats forever. For townspeople along the inner-coastal region of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the impact of sea level rise is no longer an abstract worry debated by politicians. They see the land becoming more saturated beneath their feet.

Beauty and the Beast
Wildflowers and Climate Change

Photographer: Rob Badger and Nita Winter

How is climate change impacting wildflower ecosystems on our public lands? What will be lost?


Between River and Sea

Photographer: Michael Hanson

Between River and Sea focuses on life in and around Apalachicola, FL. For over a century, an independent, hand-built industry has drifted through the shallow waters of the Apalachicola Bay. This bay, one of the most productive and unique ecosystems in the country, once produced 10% of the nation’s oysters and 90% of Florida's. Today, only a handful of oystermen have work and this community struggles to maintain its tradition and livelihood. Oysters need a mix of freshwater and saltwater. They depend on this balance but the freshwater coming down the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin has been drastically cut short by a series of dams and overuse in Georgia and Alabama. As droughts persist alongside a constant pressure from a major metropolitan city at the headwaters, the Apalachicola Bay clings to a trickle of water. The project aims to connect users throughout the watershed and expose what's at the end of the river. It also aims to celebrate the bay and a lifestyle that revolves around the perfect mix of fresh and salt water.

Breaking the Cycle
a documentary film

Photographer: Dan Lamont and Sara Finkelstein

The facts are startling: the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country on Earth. Those who fill the jails often come from fractured families with pernicious, multigenerational histories of poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence. Kids from such environments too often get in trouble. Incarcerated youth have a 75 percent chance of reoffending as adults and the cycle continues. It is a terrible tragedy and a colossal waste of human lives and social resources.

Cameras without Borders
Photography for Healing and Peace

Photographer: Eberhard Riedel

Recurrent racism, tribalism and fundamentalist ideology are tearing apart the human fabric. Over ...

Changing Perspectives
Energy in the American West

Photographer: Jamey Stillings

Changing Perspectives is an aerial and ground based examination of large-scale renewable energy d...

Choosing Hope
Reclaiming the Duwamish River

Photographer: Tom Reese

The Duwamish River can be hard to love, but it flows powerfully through the hearts of those who k...

Dual Shadows
East Africa's LGBT Refugees

Photographer: Jake Naughton

Dual Shadows explores the lives of LGBTQ refugees in East Africa, from their countries of origin, to purgatory in Kenya, to lives as resettled refugees in America. Uganda is infamous for its anti-gay legislation, but LGBTQ people across the region are beaten, persecuted and killed by officials, neighbors and sometimes their own families.

Epidemic - TB in the Global Community

Photographer: David Rochkind

The statistics are alarming.  In 2009, there were 9.4 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB)...

Fracking: Forgotten on the Bakken

Photographer: Bruce Farnsworth

Forgotten on the Bakken illustrates the environmental and cultural impacts of fracking, an industry now underway in 20 states. This project begins on the northern great plains but is representative of experiences throughout fracking country. Traditions of open space and agrarian livelihoods have been disrupted by a flurry of activities associated with the high-volume hydraulic fracturing industry. North Dakota—situated on the Bakken geologic formation—is now the second highest oil-producing state in the nation.

Knife Fight City

Photographer: Richard Steven Street

Knife Fight City explores an unacknowledged variety of American apartheid in Huron, poorest town in California, where an American peasantry slaves for industrialized agriculture in a giant farm labor exploitation camp.

La Carretera
Life Along Peru's Interoceanic Highway

Photographer: Roberto (Bear) Guerra

"Highways, of course, alter everything. They change patterns of human settlement, hasten the dest...

Lágrimas do Rio Doce
Tears of the Sweet River

Photographer: Leonardo Merçon

The project Lágrimas do Rio Doce (Translation: Tears of the Sweet River) is an independent photographic-audiovisual production aiming to show the real consequences of this tragedy for biodiversity, local populations and traditional communities that depend on the river to survive. The river is rooted in the culture of fishermen, native americans (índios) and riverside populations. Through this project, these communities will be given a voice.

Leaving the Life

Photographer: Tim Matsui

Leaving the Life uses the power of stories to foster empathy among stakeholders and build unexpected alliances, strengthening the anti-trafficking movement and efforts to effectuate institutional and cultural change.

Louisiana, Purchased

Photographer: Terri Garland

This project examines the consequences of greed and neglect in relation to both the loss of vital...

Mountain Caribou Initiative
A Visual Journey into the Imperiled World of an Endangered Species

Photographer: David Moskowitz

The alpine kingdom of mountain caribou in western Canada and the northwestern United States is crumbling around these beautiful and sensitive creatures. As their habitat has been steadily altered or destroyed by human activities, mountain caribou have been declining rapidly. Unsure whether this project will be documentation of the end of a distinct ecotype of caribou or a step towards inspiring the change in human behavior needed to save these animals, David Moskowitz set out to explore the world of these reclusive animals across the Selkirk, Columbia and Rocky mountains.

Nowhere People

Photographer: Greg Constantine

As multi-ethnic societies continue to reshape cultures around the world, the basic rights afforde...

Our Warming World

Photographer: Daniel Beltrá

My project asks us to consider the landscape as a place we have altered, all while striving to co...

Palawan Seas

Photographer: Katherine Jack

We know that our marine environment is changing the world over. What about the cultures that form part of these ecosystems?

Ross Island and the Future of the McMurdo Sound Region

Photographer: Alasdair Turner

We have entered a time when places the least near us beckon us to understand them, to feel them so that while we tred on our part of the Earth they are constantly with us and with our choices. Ross Island and the McMurdo Sound Region and the science being conducted there embody what is left of our critical and fragile ecosystems and our attempts to understand them. They are not land for a nation but a place for the world. This project is intended to emotionally and scientifically engage citizens of every nation about why this place and the incredible science that is being conducted there matters. It will give life to and investigate the science of the region from the earliest expeditions to today’s ongoing research.

Salvation Fish

Photographer: Paul Colangelo

Salvation Fish is a three-pronged project with the goal of raising the public profile an...

The Truth Told Project

Photographer: Sarah Fretwell

The Truth Told Project was born in December of 2010 when award-winning photographer Sarah Fretwel...


Photographer: Mustafah Abdulaziz

Initiated in 2011, “Water” is a fifteen-year photographic project. Water and humanity are moving towards a crisis. We live in a time when 650 million people have no access to safe drinking water; when our rivers, basins and lakes are affected by decades of industry; when rising sea levels are placing Pacific Islanders in the cross-hairs of becoming the first climate refugees. The complexity of our relationship with water reflects our greater behavior towards our environment, which we’re beginning to understand has a defining impact on our planet.

Wolf Haven

Photographer: Annie Marie Musselman

In the wake of the exotic animal trade, a sanctuary exists in Washington State where wolves are r...

World View of Global Warming

Photographer: Gary Braasch

The goal of World View of Global Warming is to illustrate the physical changes and compelling sci...