PEOPLE DESERVE TO BE PRESENTED IN A WAY THAT LEAVES THEIR HUMANITY INTACT.
For too long, the conversation about people living with addiction has focused on blame and shame: the un-beautifying of the spirit of the person living with the pain of addiction. Addiction and the addicted are reduced to abstractions. The personal is lost. This project is born out of the recognition that individuals with addiction are exiled in this society: whether made invisible or on the "ugly fringe", people who are living with problems from alcohol and drugs are not seen in all of their humanity.
The concept of the project is to have a visual conversation that is courageous, affirming, and challenging to the standard narrative on addiction and those who live it. It is built around participants becoming agents of their own identity--co-creating with the filmmakers the way they will be photographed and what sort of invitation into their lives they will give the viewer. The four participants, all Western Kentuckians, share glimpses of their "medicine" with us--doing what it is that brings them back to themselves.
This project is fed by the idea that each of us is more than the worst things that have ever happened to us, including the worst things we have ever done.
Amy Iddings completed a Master's of Social Work degree at Spalding University in May, and this project was part of her culminating project on the use of whole body/whole mind approaches in the treatment of trauma and addiction. In 2014 she collaborated with Glenn Hall on a project for her own healing, which she casually called "phototherapy." The sense of recovery--the medicinal quality of the work--was so profound she began an inquiry into using self-guided creative portrait photography with others, beginning with people dealing with addictions.
Glenn Hall studied Fine Arts at Murray State University, and Film and Cinema at Southern Illinois University. He has over thirty years of experience as a professional photographer, videographer and documentary filmmaker, and recently worked with InsideOut, a global participatory art project inspiring themes such as hope, diversity, gender-based violence, climate change, and bullying.