The RECLAIMING/RE-FRAMING project will provide 30 women in Mexico City with spaces, tools and guidance to deal with traumatic experiences through art. While women's voices are louder than ever today, a majority of women continue to struggle with the effects of trauma alone. In collaboration with a local Mexican organization, La Lleca, we will lead workshops to help women begin their healing process using visual storytelling. (Pictures: workshops in Bangalore & Madhya Pradesh, India, July 2018)
In Mexico, 47% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner. In 2016, 7 women were victims of femicide every day. While numerous organizations tirelessly advocate for better legal frameworks to end gender-based violence, too many women are left to deal with their traumatic experiences with little or no support, which passes down generation to generation. This project aims to break this cycle by providing access to safe spaces and lifelong learning tools.
During the workshops participants will use the artistic process of visual storytelling to cope with painful experiences. In both group and individual sessions, they will be encouraged to produce a series of various images of themselves to explore buried memories, and to translate - into visual form - what may be too difficult to talk about. The project's motto is to give ourselves "permission to change, to re-view, to let go, to move on," by deconstructing and recomposing our stories.
Visual re-framing can be instrumental in reclaiming locked up energy in order to use it in more conscious and constructive ways. Even though the workshop only lasts 4 days, former participants (48 women from 13 countries) have expressed that it had long-lasting impact on them. Several women felt "enabled" to reshape and take ownership of their lives, others have been able to acknowledge forgotten traumas in that process and experienced positive behavior changes afterwards.