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Images of brokenness and beauty

CAPS Experiences of Trauma collective advocacy group are currently working on a film.

A girl walks through a furnace, over and over again. A lone figure peers into a giant, perhaps bottomless hole in the desert.

Images brought up by group participants in planning the film.

Experiences of trauma are as varied as are individuals, but there is one common theme everyone in the group agreed on. That is that trauma as an experience is hard to pin down. It often evades words, definitions and explanations. This is why we started thinking about alternative ways of representing what it’s like to live with trauma. Images can be powerful tools to show certain things that words alone can’t capture.

To realise the film, the group is working alongside film-maker and artist Stephanie Wilson. Stephanie is responsible for the technical aspects of the project. Stephanie works with video, clothing, sculpture and installations. Her works have been showed as part of the Out of Sight Out of Mind exhibition on several occasions. Each participant will have their own 1-2 minute clip in the film revolving around the same unifying theme: “Who Am I?”

The theme arose after two visual workshops. The workshops involved long discussions on the importance of finding and tapping into your authentic self. Who are we underneath the experiences that have shaped us and the coping mechanisms we’ve developed in order to survive? In the discussions, this process of re-building ourselves was seen akin to the idea of Kintsugi. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of patching pieces of broken pottery back together with gold. Rather than a replica of what once was there, the end result is truly unique; the very beauty of this piece of art comes from it’s brokenness.  

An artwork made by CAPS' Experiences of Trauma group who are working on the film. Made of images cut from magazines including a man playing a piano, a roaring lion, an acrobat, two hands and more.

Collective advocacy film to raise awareness of trauma

The film, which is to be made by CAPS’ Experiences of Trauma collective advocacy group, aims to raise awareness of the experiences of people who live with trauma. It will show the unique stories and perspectives of five individuals. Once complete, the film will be used as a tool for collective advocacy, including as part of the Here and Now workshop on trauma that the group has previously created. Other potential uses include showing the film to policy-makers or submitting it to short film or art festivals. There will also be a shorter version made specifically for social media in order to reach a wider audience. Most of us will experience some form of trauma at one point in their lives – with the film the group wants to bring more understanding and compassion for all of us.

Find out more about Collective Advocacy

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