Birth trauma and trauma are explored using a giant scroll of paper in zine-style pictorials depicting Flavia’s story of birth abandonment and subsequently living a life of lies and deceit until finding out the truth at the age of 25. The format was used to illustrate what happens to a person when secrets have been enforced as well as what it means to be taken from a country of origin and birth origin and given a totally new identity. Reforming the “I” and sense of self is a careful tapestry woven with art that helped assuage the trauma along the way.
In the presentation over two days at Manhattan College it seemed impossible to just stand before a large group of diverse and mature women each with their own story of trauma and just present.
The scroll had to be included in their immediate space. By making a closing circle and holding the art together (an idea which came spontaneously), it brought the group into the fold and into the reality by holding my story in their hands.
This is where paper art becomes performance. By creating a piece with the audience, the audience becomes the piece.
Our traumas are all unique to our stories but the human condition of needing nurturing, care, love, safety and hope are universal. Art bridges those dark gaps and empowers us to mirror each other as we witness our human commonalities affirming our community through our interactions.