Our pasts sometimes grab us and hold us captive. Our pasts can keep us from speaking out, moving on, and sometimes gaslight us to make us believe trauma was made up in our heads. We compare our experiences to others and begin to believe that maybe our trauma was not all that bad, because it cannot compare to someone else’s. We create victim scales and we disregard ourselves as a victim.

Undefined explores the stories of nine people who have suffered trauma in their life. Each individual remains anonymous, as they share their story with the world. Their stories are told, some more vague than others, in books and imagery. The books created explore trauma, which include images of items that comforted them through the experience or items they still have to use today.

The exhibition has aspects of white noise. Noise cannot be controlled and sometimes noise helps people escape trauma or disengage, while other times can trigger memories. The noises heard are the background noises in which show the noises in the background of where I spoke to them. Sometimes, this was the first time they had told their story, to me.

The images on the wall reflect nostalgic imagery that showcases letting go, moving on, but not necessarily forgetting. These experiences can never be forgotten, but overcoming, owning, and never being ashamed of them is the way we find healing. These stories do not end, but through strength we can prevail. This pain can be turned into helping others, learning about ourselves, building stronger relationships afterward, and letting life go on without the shackles from our past.

View the series

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