The impact of a powerful image is well beyond that of the spoken word in many cases

Recently I went to an opening of Patti Levey's wonderful photography and was greatly touched by not only her photography but the various aspects of her entire exhibit which included her photographs, poetry and performance art by Dana, another young woman.

The combination of all these allowed me to experience the invisibility of women, and the connection that we have with one another even when we are in countries divided by war and ideologies. It was POWERFUL indeed for me, and took me back to the Brave Heart Women's RISE conference training last fall where we learned to acknowledge each other's pain and send love to one another so that we could learn to collaborate rather than compete. Patti's work raised the questions of women being invisible in a burka, and of people not being able to love one another when there are differences. It asks us to think about how women learn how to take on this mantle of invisibility for their own purposes, to hide their real identities and intentions as in carrying laptops, rifles or even pregnancies underneath this garment that is both a burden and possesses the possibility of being a gift of camouflage. A small woman in a burka then began circulating thru the people in the room, silently, almost invisibly. I saw her out of the corner of my eye at first. I realized no one else seemed to see her at all, Seeing the photographs of similar invisible women, offering a folded American flag to the viewer and many other related images along with poems of the losses and pain of these wars between countries and on women, had already left me deeply moved. Suddenly I knew this invisible woman need to be recognized by me. I looked at her. She silently walked up to me holding the folded flag and handed it to me. I can not describe the deep feelings of sadness and yet connection I felt with her. Then out of my experience at the RISE conference came a knowing and I reached over to her shoulders and placed my right hand there. She placed hers on top of mine. And with tears I simply said, " I SEE you. We stood a moment and then I returned the flag to her. It was profound for both of us as she told me later. Perhaps the teachings that we had at Brave Heart's RISE conference could be done on a much larger scale so that they can sensitize many more and show us how to simply recognize one another as the beautiful beings we are, regardless of how we dress or where we live. This was a wonderful example of using multiple means of communication to empower the Voice of the Work. A message given in multiple ways that includes visual images is perhaps the very most powerful tool we have.
If you would like to see images of Patti's actual work, please check her photography at this link

 Photo:Feather and Woman in a Burka - Copyright 2012 Raven Redfox

Beautiful communication with all others