This is a photography project on emotional healing following a traumatic experience. The project centers on women and begins where the victims are now. I acknowledge the trauma and artistically depict where and how it affected them and how it continues to traumatize them. The depiction is meant to deemphasize the past and instead focus on the victim’s future. The project reflects the complex ways in which trauma manifests itself and how it leaves the body.
The idea for this project was born from therapy sessions with women who experienced a traumatic event and continue to be affected by it physically and/or mentally. Trauma victims often have a foggy sense of defining the feeling and emotions felt from the event that caused them. Using semantic and therapy techniques, mind-body connections to the trauma were identified and described. The language used in this process is meant to precisely describe the feelings and encourage understanding of the trauma in order to define it and, ultimately, to let it go.
The purpose of this project is to turn intangible emotions into something tangible, into something that can be seen, managed, and removed. The photography series will feature a nude, female model on whom collective stories will be recorded using semi-asemic techniques, thus allowing the unseen emotional trauma to become tangible. The naked body represents vulnerability of the victims and the asemic writing represents the emotion being brought from under the skin to the surface. Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing that just like the trauma is not easy to name, or identify. The choice of style will mimic and reinforce various body sensations of the victims. For example, broad stroke markings on the backside of the model would symbolize the feeling of punishment and despair.
Later, I photograph a series of rituals in which the the wording is washed away with water. The stories will slowly fade away, symbolizing the healing process and purification of the mind. The markings will not fade completely to symbolize the emotional and physical scars left behind.