We regularly upload pictures, both from professional photographers and submissions sent in to is from around the world, to our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, creating online communities where users can address and discuss the issues raised. We’ve found that what started out as a social media project has quickly become a community outreach program.
When invited to New York to be featured in our first ever exhibition at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Feb 2016, it showcased the importance of involving local communities within social and art projects.
Through inviting local people to come to us, tell their stories and have their pictures taken, they become a physical part of the project. Not only do they get to tell their stories in their own words but their pictures can then be used as tools to educate and create awareness amongst those who come to see these exhibitions.
“The “I’m Tired” Project has had a profound impact on our local community. The forty people who participated in the photo shoot left the experience transformed. I was so impressed by the mindful and safe space that was created for people to bravely bare their souls. There was no judgement or fear, just listening and being heard. The project really invites us to share our humanity with one another. Over 400 people came to our exhibition opening. The “I’m Tired” Project engaged visitors in thoughtful dialogue and moved some to tears.” – Donna Mikkelsen, Director of Education and co-curator of the WORD exhibition at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
This was the first time that I spoke my story out loud to someone, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. Paula listened to every letter as it formed in my brain and slowly made its way to my tongue. She didn’t just listen passively, she listened with her heart, her eyes, her soul, with understanding, love, and grace. This was also the first time, that I was able to tell my story as a survivor of domestic violence, rather than a victim. This experience has been life changing for me already, but I truly believe that my message will find those who need to know that they are not lost, and they are never alone. – Heidi, a contributer featured in the exhibition, N.Y.
One of the objectives of the project is to educate and carrying out workshops has become a core part of what we provide, especially to young people. During our time in New York, we spent time with over 300 students from middle schools, high schools, Youth Bureaus and Summit Academies. In our workshops, we seek to impart understanding around what micro-aggressions, assumptions and stereotypes are and the impact they have. Then, we offer participants the opportunity to take part in the project and have their picture taken, using their hands rather than their backs.
“At the City of Peekskill Youth Bureau, we met one of the two founders of the project and she was relatable so all of us could understand the importance of voicing our own personal issues and how to handle them day-to-day. The “I’m Tired” Project was one of the most extraordinary workshops that my community had the privilege to experience.” – Zaria, a teen from the Youth Bureau, N.Y.
If you would be interested in inviting us to exhibit our work or carry out a workshop, please get in touch via our contact page.