Photography as a Healing Art

For the last 6 months I have been documenting the women of Welcome Home Ministries, a re-entry program at Las Colinas Detention Center. These women live in a separate FAIR dorm – Future Achievers In Re-entry – which is a dedicated housing facility that provides a safe and secure, structured environment for learning a process of change. The goal is to help them change their way of life and better equip them for a healthy transition back into the community. I personally have witnessed incredible transformation.

I asked these women to take portraits of each other as a way of seeing themselves in a different light. When one holds a camera in their hands and looks through the lens, they are free of the past and focus on the now.

I wanted these women to be able to capture a moment in time that would help them move forward by giving them a chance to reflect and reveal another dimension of themselves. They are women who have made bad decisions in their lives, but they can now smile and feel happy, beautiful and full of hope for a better future.

I was very impressed in how serious they took this assignment and I am so excited to share some of their work.

Art is our one true global language. It knows no nation, it favors no race, and it acknowledges no class. It speaks to our need to reveal, heal, and transform. It transcends our ordinary lives and lets us imagine what is possible. —Richard Kamler

BEAUTY - FAIR DORM
Beauty
BEHIND A MASK - FAIR DORM
Behind a mask
FARAWAY THOUGHTS - FAIR DORM
Faraway thoughts
FRIENDS - FAIR DORM
Friends
IN IT TOGETHER - FAIR DORM
In it together
INTROSPECTION - FAIR DORM
Introspection
LAUGHTER - FAIR DORM
Laughter
LOOKING FOR A FUTURE.
Looking for a future
MY SPACE -FAIR DORM
My space
REACHING OUT- FAIR DORM
Reaching out
REFLECTION - FAIR DORM
Reflection
SADNESS - FAIR DORM
Sadness
SELF ESTEEM - FAIR DORM
Self esteem
SISTERHOOD - FAIR DORM
Sisterhood
SUPPORT - FAIR DORM
Support

5 comments

  1. So many of these incarcerated ladies have such talent! Their horrific experiences as children lead them on a path of self destruction and Michele , through her compassion and photography, is bringing them to life! Recognizing their inner beauty and making their invisible faces visible through her photography is a gift of hope and inspiration!

  2. I know all those feelings and most of them woman for it was not to long ago I left there… I am loving my life now the way I should have been … I am so greatful to Carmin , Welcome Home. ministries and Vietta for my million dollar smile and all the love… And Michelle for all the beautiful photos… love jewels

  3. Nicely done, Michele. Excellent idea. I admire you for all the interest, time and energy you have put into this project. It shows a perspective on the many people who have been imprisoned and now have a second chance for a better life. Keep up the good work.
    Bob

  4. Thank you for sharing these photos. They all seem to have hope in their eyes.! I am sure your enthusiasm for this project has been felt by the ladies you are following and will be a positive for them through out their lives.

    Sharon Hansen

  5. You share interesting things here. I think that your blog can go viral easily, but you must give it
    initial boost and i know how to do it, just type in google for – mundillo traffic increase go viral

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