"Love is our Rebellion"
DISARM is the first of our Literature/Visual Campaigns, and is directly focused upon an emotive, relatable, and harshly contrasted juxtaposition of the desire to heal, yet the willingness to remain bonded and bound by one's own fears, anxieties, and destructive relational response patterns, The controversial and admittedly frightening incorporation of imagery of weaponry symbolizes the trauma, abuse, and defense systems those who have been abused respond with. Yet, the contrast is made in placing these weapons in the hands of young, beautiful, and seemingly socially "typical" young ladies.
Emerging from tangible and true life experiences that our own Movement team members have encountered, regarding the vicious stereotypes surrounding trauma and abuse, and those who "do" or "don't know what it's like", we strived to build an intentionally disturbing and socially challenging image of trauma; intentionally unaccepting and rejecting of the idea that trauma and pain has a certain look. Everyone is affected.
The goal of this work to is bring recognition to the truth that all of us have pain, from a young girl, hiding it beneath the surface to a person from any walk of life; and moreover, to understand that such pain comes from various sources and causes (an abusive father, an absent mother; hence the references made in the the corresponding film and artwork). Our conceptualists strived to capture both the vulnerability and often misleading gentleness of the victim, and contrast that with the rage and angst that can emerge when they are triggered or wounds are opened. As trauma survivors, to which we include each and every Movement team member in our own right, we know well our greatest desire and hope is to receive love; give love; and believe we are truly worthy. Yet, so many of us have, and at times, still do, offer our hearts to people and situations when that heart is less than whole; giving away a broken and shattered, even ticking, time-bomb, if you will (note the blatant and powerful title of the Visual Film Short "Give My Heart Away When It's Loaded"); We are simply waiting for someone to fall guilty to human error; perhaps say the wrong thing, or leave silence when it hurts the most. When this happens, we fire; shutting down, running away, or responding viciously. It leaves us even more broken; and ultimately, with the one reality we fear the most: being alone.
It is such a hard truth; and a harder truth to accept that, truly, only we can liberate ourselves; not our abusers; not our fathers; not our mothers; not our spouses or our lovers; only us. It is a truth that holds us painfully accountable, but beautifully empowered to choose our destiny.
And yet we know; this accountability; this approach; it is so far from the glass houses, the Utopias, we often try to provide to survivors; it seems so unfair. So impossible.
And perhaps, the reason I came to know this, is because I have held the hand of one I loved who thought it was impossible; who had been abused by someone who should have been their greatest support. And myself, guilty of also building my own calculated, protected fortresses of mock solitude; my defense systems fired; and back to to their empire; home to their safety; and in agreement with their understanding of how I was just like their original abuser, they fled; and they were gone.
I cannot find that acceptable. I know what it is to be a little boy who builds an empire of safety and shuts everyone out. I know what it is to lose someone you love to an empire of their own.
Yet I also know what it is to realize that love is greater than any empire, any defense system, any trauma we have faced.
We do this for those who we still love to do this day,, yet lost. We do this for those we will yet receive.
Love is our rebellion.
DiSVRM THE EMPIRE.
- Daniel V / Founder, Priceless MVMT