The Project

I guess this is a fitting spot to talk about my project, as I'm heading towards halfway of being here. So, what I'm doing is a project with women who have been through sexual abuse, trauma and to use the big word: rape.

I got the idea for the project before I knew that rape and sexual violence are quite common in Greenland. The theme has been something that's often present in my work: women trying to struggle with something, or out of something. Just women in pain, you could say. My idea here was to combine women and their stories with wild nature. For me nature has always been the place where you can shed at least some of the expectations of society. In nature you stop being the person your history makes you and maybe for a while, are the person you are deep inside. Of course, you will never stop being shaped by your personal history, but, well, it's a nice idea to think like that.

After doing some research, I found that rape, incest, sexual and other kinds of abuse are sadly everywhere around here. It's fitting for the project but it's also a bit hard: I guess a lot of outsiders come here to talk about it and study it and some locals are probably up to here with the subject. But I'm trying not to care about that. I know it's a taboo, I know it's difficult. But if it's still so prevalent, it's not being talked about enough.

I kind of wanted to just go directly for the emotions you have when you've gone through shit. I read a lot of scientific stuff about rape and trauma (like that one thesis that had a specific chapter called "Explanations for wife-beating in Greenland") but then, as this is art and I can be as subjective as I want, I decided to make something that was just angry and even vengeful. Something that's not trying to be politically correct. Something that's trying to focus on only what you feel when you go through that. Because that's the voice that gets lost. Your own voice.

It's not been easy, because all my personal demons have now come out to play and it's a bit hard to focus on art when they're demanding my attention but I think that's also part of the process. I just tend to forget that.

I've been looking for women who've been through rape and talking to them. I haven't found very many who are willing to talk to a stranger about it, but I guess that's okay because my time is quite limited. Plus people in Greenland don't really believe in answering e-mails. And I'm deadly afraid of phone calls. So there we are. But anyway, the few I've spoken to, I think all my thoughts were more than proven right, the things you feel are exactly what I thought they would be. Anger, depression, losing your sense of self, feeling numb, misplaced, ready to kill someone etc. Now I'm just starting to figure out how to illustrate it. I have some ideas but of course the nature here is not maybe ready to comply. Damn you snow!

Like I've said many times, it's been difficult to talk to these women, or think about their experiences because I'm not completely without said experiences. And also because the women I've met have been incredibly nice and lovely people. They're people I'd love to have for friends and/or relatives. They're really good, intelligent and thoughtful women. I wish I will be able to create something that they feel is telling at least something of their feelings. I know they all want to help others. I wish that even in a really tiny way, I could help them.

It's also been a bit odd doing blogging and other stuff while dealing with this subject. I've blogged about really vague and mundane things, I've tried to get sponsor deals with various tourism-related things while thinking and talking about a really political and serious stuff. I'd like to have a "real" travel-ish blog, but I can only think: how can I think about Instagram or blog stats while at the same time dealing with issues around sexual trauma? Should I choose between trying to make a living and gathering experiences and being a serious artist? I don't know. I guess this is the kinds of things modern times bring with them.

One of the women said, when I asked her how she felt talking about this subject that talking is okay, that it becomes like a story she tells. Makes me think of one of my favorite quotes, from Hannibal: "All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story." I think that's what I'm trying to do here.


0 kommenttia