Recently I have decided to put in motion a project that has been brewing internally for quite some time. This endeavor will last over the span of 2017 (possibly further) and I need your participation.
This mixed-media project comes out of a very real place for me. I've carried depression, anxiety, fear of change, fear of loss, dependence on other people, self-doubt, self-guilt, loss, low esteem - PAIN - for a lifetime. It can feel very isolating and very dark, not to mention impossible to get past. It has affected my life - it has BEEN my life. It has run my days and emotions and kept me prisoner at times. Even though that might sound heavy or scary to some people, I don’t find it strange at all to say that I struggle. I’m a very regular person affected by what I believe is a very regular thing: the human condition. It’s time to stop living in a world where depression is taboo, or where people with mental illness/emotional struggle are abnormal or inherently bad. We’re all very real people living our lives and feeling our feelings, and I’d like to see more openness and awareness in society about the things that burden individuals.
This project will aim to show the realness of mental illness and depression, anxiety, low self esteem - really any kind of pain or struggle - the things we carry and often feel ashamed of abnormal for. It's not abnormal. (By the way, if you're a person who doesn't have these afflictions, trust me: you know and love someone who does. There is no avoiding pain in life, either that of yourself or that of others.)
As this project unfolds I'll ask questions like why do we avoid pain? How do various people deal with what their internal worlds bring them? Does being depressed make us any less of a person? How does anxiety and depression affect people and how do they deal? What have these people overcome; what strength can they share from their journey? Because we are all learning how to human one day at a time, I’d like to learn together.
The pain project will portray our common struggles as humans through both photography and interviews (which will be audio recorded during the photography aspect). I may put together a podcast from the interviews. An instagram and or Facebook feed of photos of participants as well as quotes/write ups on their interview will also be shared. I'll also look at possibly creating an art gallery feature or even a book once the project has been completed.
HOW IT WILL WORK
Participants should be willing to be vulnerable and open to sharing what they are comfortable with me and potentially the world. Sharing makes us stronger. Interviews will be recorded and images will be shared. If you're nervous about the prospect of participating, please be assured I will do all I can to make your session comfortable. Your with a friend when you're with me! You’re with someone who gets it. Also (very important): You don't need to be a model or "photogenic" to be part of this project, because that’s not the point of this at all. You do need to be real and courageous - and if you don't think you're courageous maybe this is a step in you finding your courage. Simply speaking out the truth can be very powerful for our growth. (Anonymous participants are welcome - I can create photos that do not show identity.)
Sessions can be conducted in your home (this is my preference!) or even at a quiet cafe or park. The emphasis here is not beautiful portraits that are perfectly lit. My goal is raw and emotional and atmospheric. Stripped down of pomp and circumstance. I want to show how it feels to be depressed to feel anxiety. To be shy. To have low self esteem. To feel outside of the world even when you’re in it. Will you help me?
Email me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org