This year my focus is on the idea of self care and stability. One of the biggest issues I have with self stability is knowing that I am worthwhile. Recently many women have come to admit that they have been sexually assaulted by powerful men that drove their industry. While my attackers may not have been famous or powerful, I too share a similar story, one where power is created through the control over my own psyche.
What's hard to imagine is how many women have been assaulted in some form or another. It's hard to admit to yourself that something so intangibly horrific could happen, let alone speak out against those who withdrew our powers from us like a power drill.
This year I hope to focus on this idea of female survival. With the #metoo campaign turning global, it is easy to get swept up in the melee of how horrible men are. Continuing to recognize your perpetrator as someone who can harm you allows the perpetrator to continue to control you, even if they are no longer around. I am hoping to create an artistic message from the point of view of survivors. Our world is forgetting that there are others out there who are still afraid to speak against their demons, but think that by naming those who have harmed them, those demons will dissipate completely. We continue to assume that by speaking against them, our issues will suddenly diminish.
The sad truth is, is that we will all live with the scars of control that men have put upon us. We can either let that control consume our lives, or focus on the self reflection that emotional healing allows. My vision is based off of that self reflection, creating images of women who have survived assault and continued to create beauty around them.
The fear that I as well as other men and women out there have is that somehow those moments when we had no control were moments where we were ugly, or irrational, or unlovable. This is far from the truth, but it is what society has told us as survivors until recently. As we continue to speak out against the injustice of uncontrollable power, we must also see that through this evil, beauty can be created.
Each one of these images that I have found is an individual who has admitted to being assaulted or harassed. I tried to find images to create from that were photographed around the time that they were assaulted. I wanted to recreate a moment of complete evil into a moment of infallible strength. Through this, I hope to at least send a message to these women (if they see it) that their words mean something. that taking back their power MEANS something. Maybe creating something beautiful out of something so disgusting can help heal the old wounds that will resurface in the days to come.
P.S. What's funny to me is the reaction that some of the images have received. As I was searching for images, I noticed that many of the captions even over-sexualized their bodies. Women's bodies need to be reclaimed, we as women need to reclaim our own sexuality. We can no longer allow society to shape our ideas that women can no longer create without having their identity's mislabeled.