"The Victor" (2014)
Broken Free is a photo-based project that promotes awareness of victimization while empowering survivors to break the silence. As a survivor of abuse, Paola realized that one important thing that was taken away from her during the time was her voice. In the series, she photographs fellow survivors as they share with her their personal experience, their intimate space, and anything pertinent to the events. Once the photographs are printed, survivors then have the choice to voice themselves by writing on some of their photographs. While an image can often speak for itself, the writing can tell a lot about the subject, not just because of what is written, but also how and where it is written. This combination of handwriting and image juxtaposes a survivor’s past with their present; it becomes like a diary entry, allowing for intimacy, authenticity, and vulnerability, providing insight into where each person stands in their healing journey. It also invites the viewer to witness this collaboration, to initiate a conversation on how to address this social injustice, and to help motivate more survivors to speak out and break free.
Broken Free was made possible by survivors of different forms of victimization, who volunteered to be photographed and shared their story.
This project is dedicated to the memory of co-founder and final participant Juan / Jonnie. The project ended upon his transition in 2021.
Forever grateful for J., for being the biggest part of Broken Free, for bringing this project to life and to its conclusion.
Endless gratitude to everyone that contributed, whether through participation, promotion, support, testimony — however form you contributed has helped us to help survivors speak out and BREAK FREE.
Please donate to help bring Broken Free to print.
Visit Broken Free on Facebook to view the complete series of photographs.
Your generous contributions will go towards supporting film photography and will also provide funding for the
printing and publishing of Broken Free.
Thank you for your support.