KER: book by Eugenie Flochel, done together with female survivors of domestic violence

KER is a photographic project investigating healing and resilience among female survivors of domestic violence through therapeutic storytelling and experimental photography. Domestic abuse is a cause very dear to Flochel’s heart because it is her personal story, just like it is for 1 in 3 women globally (WHO, 2021).

This project was born out of a frustrating lack of representation on the aftermath of domestic violence, namely, the healing process; and stems from a need to portray victims as survivors. As a result, KER aims to frame surviving abuse as a positive narrative of rrecovery, agency and self-leadership and to celebrate creative expression as a catalyst for visibility and wellbeing.

Because each story is different and because there is no practical guide to healing, she aimed to portray recovery from various angles and lenses, placing value on narratives of the self in expansive and innovative ways.

Flochel intended to create an emotional and safe space for survivors to tell their stories of resilience with their own words, means and terms. This hopefully helped establish a new space that navigates trauma recovery, self-growth and joy.

Portraiture is understood here in the widest sense to offer a more nuanced appreciation of survival for both survivors and viewers. Photography is used in this project as an expanded medium, a processful feminist practice and a social participatory act, a necessary tool for advocacy and social change.

The author hopes that by chronicling her own journey and that of other survivors, she is able to communicate complex narratives within a public discourse and engage audiences situated within multiple arenas : the social, the political, the artistic. This would, ideally, help challenge the traditional understanding and representation of domestic abuse and possibly erode the perspectives that are subjugated by shame and guilt, to restore self-esteem.

The book is available to read on the direct link.