Speaking of Silence

Speaking of Silence Portraits 2007 – 2008

Speaking of Silence was a two year-long project that included a series of exhibitions, art workshops, partnerships with artists and play writes and a traveling community engagement listening booth. The program began with a series of nearly 100 audio interviews in which I collected reflections from a wide range of participants exploring the role that silence plays in our lives. Listen to some of the stories here.

I made photographic portraits of each participant interviewed and exhibited three distinct sets of portraits to accompany the audio stories collected.

Addressing Silence series: Portraits of a cross section of the Baltimore population including youth, musicians, artists, preachers, mothers, fathers, the disenfranchised and the privileged.

Youth and Silence series: Portraits of specifically Baltimore City and County youth ages 4 – 18. These portraits accompanied audio stories exploring the communication barriers between the generations and the challenges of using ones voice and being heard as a young person.

Speaking of Silence II: This series focused directly on bringing voice and visibility to individuals and groups who have been traditionally silenced. I made portraits of and recorded stories from individuals dealing with mental illness, drug and alcohol addictions, recently released prisoners and those in domestic violence and homeless shelters. Their photographs and stories were collected and shared through a traveling story sharing program that allowed participants to listen and respond to the collected stories with their own reflections and experiences.  All collected responses to the stories were then exhibited together in a series of interactive art exhibits that highlighted and advocated for awareness on issues of domestic violence, homelessness, addiction, and mental health.

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