What I offer is a visual representation of my narrative. It was meant for me to be here, and you all were meant to witness this.
Sexual violence against girls in the African Diaspora is an epidemic of unspeakable proportions. According to the study conducted by Black Women’s Blueprint 60% of Black, girls will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. Black Women’s Health Imperative reports states of that 60% being abused 40% of those Black girls are likely to survive the assault. Visual and Performing Artist Frances Nielah Bradley is one of those Black girls who has lived through the traumatic life-altering effects of rape. Despite the unimaginable pain of being a victim of such heinous violence, she managed to transform her nightmare into a 12-piece visual art series that is masterful. The powerful documentary begins when Frances is at the tender age of 18 in college studying art when she is sexually attacked by a mentor and chronicles her experiences as a rape survivor. The audience is taken on an insightful journey into Bradley’s personal healing process and manifestation to womanhood with her art as her new lifeline to navigate through life.
Staying true to her theme of art and interactive community healing, Frances also kicked off an interactive panel moderated by Quentin Walcott, Co-Executive Director, CONNECT and featured an in-depth discussion alongside fellow visionaries, activists, and dynamic leaders Marc Lamont Hill, Executive Producer; Stacey Muhammad, Executive; Producer; Tanya Jackson, Filmmaker; Vanessa M. Bing, Ph.D., Trauma Psychologist; and Shantrelle Patrice Lewis, Independent Curator. Fellow supporters and performing artists Imani Uzuri, Lady Moon, and Brinae Ali graced the audience with their mesmerizing performances throughout the event transcending the connections of safe space conversations and art healing for all. The purpose of this film is to encourage women to reflect without fear and relate to one another through experience while healing. While never dismissing that this level of trauma is difficult, through personal interviews, Bradley explores her ups and downs with acceptance, forgiveness, pain, shame and her process to heal from the inside out. Now, 13 years later through words from her daily journaling and visual reflections she shares her deepest, and most intimate secrets of that night using this documentary as her new voice of empowerment. We celebrate and explore the resilience Bradley has developed navigating her everyday life while staying committed to her life’s purpose; activism, healing herself and others with her story through artistry.
WHAT WOMANHOOD OR WOMAN’S HURT? HAS DONE SO FAR
- Bradley lectured on The Art of Healing visual aspect of the project at LaGuardia Community College’s Women’s Center
- Solo exhibition of The Art of Healing at YWCA Brooklyn’s Ruby Nottage Gallery
- Presented a piece from The Art of Healing during the Conference of Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the United Nations of Geneva Switzerland.
- Exhibited selected works of art in Anguilla during Women’s Week on behalf of the Gender Affairs Unit.
- Screened the trailer for the “WHWH A Documentary” in St. Maarten, Corridor Gallery- BK, and will screen it the complete short documentary at Rush Arts Gallery in June 2016.