Mobile Photography and Art Flickr/Instagram Showcase – 17 May 2020

Art therapy has the power to relieve trauma and I believe it should be used widely to help survivors rebuild their lives. There seems to be a general consensus that more should be done to end slavery and trafficking but still it is an area of criminal activity that appears to be on the rise, even as we now find ourselves in lockdown. Art therapy itself covers various forms, drawing, photography, painting, but it’s still not widely implemented in a role of healing for victims. This is a disparity that some aid organisations are not embracing, I wonder if it is because some donors are unprepared to invest in this, perhaps they consider it too risky, most likely they do not understand the power of art. Lack of funding, is definitely one culprit for it not being widely implemented but the humanitarian community, who must make up the majority, would do well to take art therapy seriously, to challenge perceptions of trafficking and creating awareness.

Many survivors never resolve their emotions of shame, this perpetual mental state is enacted through dialogues of tragic dimensions.  Understanding challenges like this, arouses hope that long-term art therapy could have a more positive impact on survivors.

I’ve been working on an oeuvre that I feel symbolises visually, the essential need of support for survivors of trafficking to become engaged in art therapy. In my photograph below, you will see the image of a young healthy strong woman, her hair is fresh, she stands tall. She faces away from the camera and I have tied a teabag with string in her hair. There are five elements in this image, hair, string, fabric, paper and tea, brought together producing an explosive amalgamation.  Both the young woman and tea grow, age and ultimately die. She is dressed in linen, made from fibres of the flax plant. It’s a strong fabric, and one of the oldest fabrics in the world, interpreting the time trafficking has been promulgated.

A tea bag typically has a one time use, we use it and then discard it. In this photograph, I wanted to highlight this connotation as a form of identifying the toll of human trafficking but by deviating slightly, I also wanted to reconstruct this identification with the power of healing. I selected a green tea bag, without an identity (label). The tea itself has fallen to the left, left is a word of past tense and the past participle of leave, it indicates that something happened in the past.  Green tea is rich in polyphenols, natural compounds that have health benefits. It also contains caffeine and L-theanine, this combination powerfully improves brain function.  I wanted to emphasise that we can reverse this introspection. We can revise our judgements that these abused women have been used and discarded and we can challenge that, we can put virtue into their bodies, we can help to heal them, improving the function of their bodies and minds. We should all morally and ethically, help heal these woman, it is our duty, art therapy is nothing without transformation.

I want to personally thank all of the featured talented artists for submitting your works to our showcase this week. Together, as we exchange our vision, our fears, our hopes and our dreams, we become one.

If you would like your work to be considered for entry in to our weekly Mobile Photography and Art Flickr Group, please submit it to our dedicated group, here. You can also submit images to our Instagram tag for this section #theappwhisperer.

Susan Maxwell Schmidt, Vadim Demjianov, Mark Walton, Jun Yamaguchi, Allyson Marie, Jean Hutter, Jill Lian, Louise Whiting, Kerry Mitchell, Kathy Clay, Rita Colantonio, Catherine Caddigan, Oola Cristina, ilovekongfu, Laila, Clint Cline, Meri Walker, Deborah McMillion, Gianluca Ricoveri, p.a.hamel, Jane Schultz, borisbschulz2009, Candice Railton, @rejanerubino, @lizanderson48, @headattacks – Manuela …, @dreamsandfields, @gummymitthai, @appsolutejest, @klimtt – M. Cecilia Sào Thiago, Janis Brandenburg, @guryanova_phone, Ilise Harris, @howtogrowaboy, Alisa Sith Williams, Elaine Taylor, @sakont, Rodolfo Alcaraz, Eliza Badoiu, Susan Latty.

Music this week is ‘Fade into you’ by Mazzy Star

‘Quietly Spoken’ ©Joanne Carter
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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]