Yesterday, I dived into a project that I’ve been putting off for quite a while. It’s a really heavy subject and I was nervous as to what response I might get.
My project, Battle Scars, is a photographic series centered around self-harm. Self-harm is a subject that is not widely spoken about, yet one in five females and one in seven males have engaged in some form of self-harm type behavior. This is an issue that I am very passionate about, and it is an issue that I want to spread knowledge about. There are a lot of misconceptions about self-harm, and I want to play my part in clearing these misconceptions out of the way.
I was originally inspired by the photographer Jefferey Wolin, who did a series called “Written in Memory”, where he photographed Holocaust survivors and he wrote their stories on the prints. I’m doing something similar, but with some changes that I feel are important.
I’ll be photographing scars of people who wish to participate in my project. Their identities will be known only to me, as their faces will not be shown. After I get the images printed, I will then hand the print over to the person I photographed and have them write their “Battle Scar Story” on the print themselves. The goal is to put into perspective what self-harm is for those who may not have any empathy or understanding.
I’ve gotten a lot of messages since I sent out the call for subjects, and I’m humbled and shocked. I didn’t think I was going to get such a large response, and some of the people I’ve heard from have surprised me. I can tell that this project is going to teach me a lot about self-harm, seeing as it’s been only 24 hours since I’ve started and this project is already weighing heavily on my heart.
I can’t wait to see this through.