Rock Your HeART Out Carity Art Auction and Concert Process
This Summer I was one of eight artists selected for the Rock Your Heart Out Concert & Art Auction. I was paired with a refugee to tell their story through my composite photography. The show will be a mix of art, music and human rights to benefit the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Inc. (HRI), a Dallas-based non-profit that serves victims of violence from all over the world through legal and social services. Artist info is here: www.rockyourheartout.org/details. The Dallas Observer also wrote an article on the event and has a nice write up about my work, you can view it HERE.
Upon receiving the information packet on my client, I was shocked to find out at how tragic her past had been. Here is her story:
Daniela’s father was extremely abusive to Daniela’s mother, he would often physically and emotionally abuse her mother in her presence. Her father was also emotionally abusive towards her by using vulgar language and attempting to hit her, although Daniela’s mother was able to interfere and stop him.
A friend and neighbor of Daniela’s mother encouraged her to leave her abusive partner. This infuriated Daniela’s father when he found out. One day when Daniela’s father overheard her mother making plans to leave with Daniela, he ripped the phone from the wall and severely beat her mother. As they tried to run, Daniela fell and her father grabbed a gun and shot at the mother twice. Daniela’s older brother interfered, so the bullets missed her mother and went into the ceiling. Daniela’s older brother convinced their father not to kill their mother.
The next day, Daniela’s father attacked the friend who had told her mother to leave with a machete, wounding the friend’s brother and killing the friend in front of Daniela. Daniela and her mother fled the city, both traumatized by the incident. After some months, Daniela’s father found them and forced them to return home, threatening to kill family members if they refused.
For the next year and a half, they lived in constant fear of Daniela’s father. In 2009, Daniela’s mother fled to the United States with a friend. She left Daniela with her sister (Daniela’s aunt). Unfortunately, Daniela’s father found Daniela and kidnapped her. Daniela’s mother immediately returned to find her daughter. After reporting the incident to the police, the police helped find Daniela and her father. The police arrested Daniela’s father and imprisoned him for the previous murder.
Daniela came to the U.S with her mother and is now a legal permanent resident. She hopes to one day be an attorney and help other immigrants and children just like her.
Over the next few months I had several meetings with Daniela to come up with a concept that would tell her story, it was a challenge to be true to her story yet also create imagery that people would want to purchase to have in their home. I was also one of 3 artist/client duos selected to have a mini documentary made about the process, you can see them filming in some of the photos. Here are a few images from the process.
Here is the final product:
A brave young girl's journey from Honduras to freedom.
#1 Bound - In her past life she was kidnapped, witnessed violent crimes and felt hopeless with no escape.
#2 Perplexity - After arriving in America, happiness did not come easy. Confusion and uncertainty surrounded her.
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