I am raising funds to hit the road with a team: a videographer, writer, producer, and photographer (me!). We will take each subject up to the highest hills and mountains near their homes, recording their stories and photographing them with a large format camera. We will keep our living expenses as low as possible.
Funds raised will cover the cost of renting an SUV, fuel, food and photographic expenses.
The stories and documentation we collect during the two month expedition will be published with the new Aperture edition of Living with the Enemy as the final and most critical part... I Am Unbeatable...as well everything will be told in stories from the road with a blogger traveling with me and the team on the road. WE will update live from the road, connecting our contributors with every mile traveled by the team, essentially bringing you on the road with us. A videographer will document the entire trip in HD, culminating in a short film to accompany the release of I Am Unbeatable.
For thirty years I have been dedicated to educating and raising awareness about the problems of domestic violence through photography. Other than the Library of
Congress, which recently purchased a few images, none of the photographs from Living with the Enemy have been privately sold. Any compensation I received for editorial purposes and lectures was put back into doing more work.
In offering your support, you are helping to continue the work of a lifetime. I give you heartfelt thanks for investing in the rights and wellbeing of battered women and children. I have encountered some of the most idealistic, funny, passionate
and determined people over the years. It is difficult to fully convey the way this journey has defined and impacted me. Without question, it is one I would take again and again and again.
In 1991 I published the book “Living With The Enemy,” the culmination of 10 years documenting domestic violence. Since then, I have remained in touch with many of the people whose stories comprise the book. Their strength encouraged me to continue photographing, adding video to create several pieces aimed at honoring them and educating others.
Recently I met Margo, who left her abuser before irreparable damage was done to her daughters. She could not continue to raise her girls in the hell that her angry, abusive and wealthy husband created. Despite what seemed from the outside an enviable lifestyle, Margo took the most difficult and vital step -- without much money, taking her daughters, Margo left Jack, knowing that any alternative would be better than accepting a life of abuse.
Her amazing courage has inspired me to create a body of work that captures the fulfillment many women find after leaving their oppressors and taking control of their own destinies. I want to make portraits and record more stories of people who bravely struggle to transform their reality.
For two decades my photographs and voice have inspired campaigns to stop domestic violence. The photographs have improved public awareness and raised much needed funds for direct services, public policy advocacy and, the chance for a better life. I have worked with governors, senators, police chiefs, the U.S. Army, numerous foreign governments including the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Bolivia, Portugal, Peru, the American Medical Association, and, hundreds more grassroots groups to galvanize people across the world to take a stand against domestic violence.
In 1992 the Childcare Action group in NYC was auctioning off a tea party with Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was the month before the 42nd presidential election. I am not
a wealthy woman, but, I've been known to be able to raise funds for something that matters. In a heartbeat, I convinced every person of means to open their pockets and help me win that meeting with Hillary.
Bringing notable leaders from the domestic violence community, I used the opportunity to talk with Hillary about what I'd witnessed and what needed to change. What Hillary Clinton said to us back then has taken me twenty plus years to fully digest -- "while we can change laws and try to provide protection from abusers, significant change will only really occur when women themselves take responsibility to break free of their violent lives."
There. I said it. This is what it's all about.
Everyone must step up to the plate. I believe by raising up the voices of the bravest and most inspirational examples, like Margo, we will show that life with plenty of love without abuse is possible.
For all these reasons I'm asking for your support. It's degrading to all if we choose to do nothing.
Everything I know comes from taking pictures which have helped real good people in real bad situations see the positive results of changing their lives. "I Am Unbeatable" the book project, is about the power of photography.
When the Unbeatable book is finished it will inspire a social change in the way we think and talk about domestic violence. It will encourage more decisive action. The book will feature stories and images of courageous people who jumped out of the frying pan into the cool waters of love and acceptance. There is nothing better than being loved for who you are, not the "thing" somebody else wants you to be. I believe this project will inspire a radical change in self awareness and show the way to walk like an Egyptian.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you find yourself financially incapable of supporting our cause, but still believe in it, there are other ways to help! Please, please, please, share this link and information about our project with your friends. Find stories of empowerment in lives around you and share them with us. Finally, the greatest way to help our movement without donating is to live it - protect yourself and others, love unselfishly, and help yourself and those you love with your whole heart to become unbeatable.