January 22, 2022

Raw Emotion - "I Speak For her -Photography Project

PTSD projects

What is the Raw Emotion "I Speak For Her" Project?


To me, it is an extension of the #MeTOO movement and the secondary, and equal part to my documentary "I Speak for Her."


It is a way for women to tell their stories in a less formal and obvious manner. Stories, that so often go untold, because once the trauma or the tale of its horror has been told, people stop listening.


And it's not completely their fault. People who have never experienced trauma don't understand the long-term effects. And those that have, are too busy dealing with their own issues to want to listen to the next person's "problems"


You see, trauma, especially prolonged trauma will change a person's life forever. It will change the way they live, the way they think, the way they cope. Their ability to function in a "normal" world has been warped by their inability to trust their environment, surroundings, and even the people they should trust the most.


But we need to tell the rest of the story. There are so many people dealing with the same issue and yet they feel so


isolated and alone.


I am grateful we have created a world where so many people have found a way to be sympathetic to the initial trauma, but they can't see past that event. They can't truly understand the damage trauma does to a person without experiencing it themselves, and NOONE wants that!


But unfortunately, without being educated on the truth, they don't understand that the same type of trauma can affect each individual so very differently.


And sadly, there are people out there, that think that you should be able to just get over it.


Or, some who with all good intentions, believe that their good nature should immediately erase the damage caused by those who abused someone for so many years before.


And it's hard to explain. So many of us try to tell the rest of the story, but find ourselves hiding behind the guilt and shame of still feeling so "damaged" or "broken".


But we're not.


We are survivors. We are people who others tried to break, and we, against all odds, weathered the storm with strength so many others could never understand.


What is left has been shifted, not broken. It has been distorted and warped into an inverted and skewed view of what used to be and for now, it is our NEW normal.


It is a maze of distrust, hyperarousal, hypervigilance, avoidance, disassociation, numbness, dysphoria, cognition issues, isolation vs a need for acceptance, insomnia, introversion, destructive behavior vs learning healthy coping skills, pure anxiety and crippling depression,

sexual dysfunction, relationship disasters. and so much more.


It is a web that has been weaved by those

by those who hurt us to our core, and now have left us to try and escape without hurting ourselves or anyone else in the process.


We are left to wade through the damage caused by the hurricane that is the insecurities and narcissistic tendencies of others to destroy those they feel are better than them.


And yet we feel so ashamed...we forget to forgive ourselves enough to take back the power that is ours and accept that our new normal is navigating our way back to the light.


To do that, we must first accept where we are at in the process. And some have difficulty doing that in such a blatant manner. They may be not at a place to use their words, but they can feel it when they see it.


They can attach themselves to a visual and connect in a way that allows them to express everything they feel. They can interpret it in a way that allows them to know in their heart, they are telling their story.


And I, the artist am the buffer. I am what stands between them and the most vulnerable parts of themselves.


Yes, they may be the 'subject' of the

photo, but I am the one who will stand in front of them as their voice. I will be the one telling a story.


As the artist and a survivor myself, a piece of me and my own story has gone into each and every concept chosen by these

girls.


So in a sense, they are an extension of me too.


I am creating the visual. I am the one who will absorb the criticism when there is some. I will create a world where they feel safe to express, to feel, and to let out the raw emotions they feel while connecting to a concept they felt drawn to create.


The photo itself will be the topic of conversation, not the person in it.


The person viewing the photo will only see a part of themselves in each photo they view. They will connect in a way that will draw them to their own valuable interpretation.


If I have my way, it will become a visual interpretation so easy to connect to, that PTSD survivors all over the world would be able to identify with, without anyone ever having to say a word.


As with anything the art world, projects do come with a cost. Financially, even if you try to do the bare minimum, you end up spending money you don't have to create an artistic experience. your projects involve other people, props, makeup artists and supplies you as an artist may not necessarily have otherwise.


So, I ask, if any of you are interested in donating, I would be truly grateful! Anything helps.


You can donate through Venmo or CashApp @evaseraphine