Unconventional Apology Project
Created by artist Chantal Barlow, the Unconventional Apology Project features 13 portraits of domestic violence survivors or women who know someone who has experienced some form of abuse.
Instead of shooting somber portraits of victims, Barlow took photos of survivors laughing and smiling to show that these women will not be defined by their abuse.
EXCERPT from the website: 'At Unconventional Apology Project’s (UAP) core, we are engaged in a transformative portrait and interview series on domestic violence. We use what we call "survivorship storytelling" to share first-hand stories of triumph over domestic violence. We are focused on shifting the global discourse on domestic violence and how we perceive and engage with survivors and their loved ones. UAP encourages society take a critical look at how we have made survivors appear (or disappear) in media and other social outlets. They have lost their personhood, and are reduced to an event. This portrait project aims to shift our experience of these women.'
Personally, the Unconventional Apology Project reflects to me the distorted ways in which we perceive survivors, often looking past suffering to place blame or categorize. It is suffering that makes us human and it is by acknowledging that suffering that we will change the way we assign attributes to persons or occurrences. This teaches us to look differently at people and events.