Gave a book away to a woman who just sat and cried in front of one of the photos and stories.
Whoever you are, I made this book for you!
This is why I created this project. There is so much healing needed around these issues, and every time I exhibit I see people being moved, being touched, and having their hearts and minds opened.
At the opening here in San Francisco there was a small group of boisterous young men present. They were not disrespectful but hadn’t yet engaged with the stories. They asked which one to read and I pointed them straight to the woman who’d been on the verge of cutting her own labia with a pair of scissors as a teenager.
Like everyone else they became absorbed in the ocean of emotion and feeling expressed in the stories.
It is a complex set of issues and emotions to find yourself confronted with. I have the sense that the lighter stories and funny quips actually do a lot to open people to the deeper and darker stories and experiences. If all the messages were ones of trauma people would perhaps keep some sort of guard up, to prevent themselves from feeling overwhelmed. And if it was only light and funny, people would dismiss it as too superficial.
But because trauma is interspersed with laughter and joy, the same way life is, people remain open and unable to either dismiss the lighter side, nor guard against the darker.
Again and again I see how powerful this work is.