* にのみやさをり作品集 / my eyes, my mind *
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◆あの場所からに寄せて / From That Place〜The Voice of Being

I have long wanted to carry out joint work with people who have a deep wound in their minds.
This may be because I am a victim of sexual abuse. Putting aside my personal experience,
the feeling that I want to face with them has grown from a place deep within me.

 

I ask them to stand in front of my camera and I just follow them.
This is how our joint work of healing takes place.
There is no verbal instruction on how to take or how to be taken.
The off-the-cuff shoot begins.

 

This is the fourth joint work of “From that place: the voice of being.”
I will not forget a refrain that I heard from the past participants
when I sent them my unfinished piece of work.
“I cannot believe it. I am smiling. I am still able to make such a face.”

There were days when we could neither smile nor stand up at all.
We could not believe in others. To embrace someone was a distant dream.
Every day we could only wish to erase ourselves completely from this world.

Yet, on the day of taking these photographs.

They are laughing at that time.

They are crying on that day.

Crying and smiling, smiling and crying.

Those feelings, which seemed already dead, nonetheless came and pulled us like a wave.
Then naturally, they hugged each other, whoever was sitting next to them.

This is a fragment of those women's stories.

 

It is not so difficult to capture their misery.
I just need to photograph them by pushing them back to the past.

They said they could become free in front of my camera.
Some of the victims were even violated by having their pictures taken while raped.
Since then they have panicked

whenever their picture is taken. Nevertheless,
they told me that they did not feel such terror and could relax in front of my camera.

If so, I will photograph their Present and Future rather than their miserable pasts.
I want to capture their voice of being, which proves they have survived and
will look to the future.

 

There is a legal term, “statute of limitations.” Where crimes exist,
there are offenders and victims. For the victims,
such a time period does not exist.

Victims do not have this legal right, though it is given to their assailants.

I want you never to forget this.

Victims are not given a statute of limitations.

And such horrors might happen to any of us. You might be a victim tomorrow.
It is not just somebody else's problem.

I do not want you to forget this.

Even if you become one of the victims and are hurt so deeply,
please do not forget to smile.

Please do not forget to cry, to get angry, and to be pleased.

We are the living witnesses.

No matter how deeply you are hurt, we have to live.
This is what we can do as humans. Please do not forget this.

© Saori NINOMIYA