Come te la passi

3 min read

How are you doing?

by Alessandra Rosabianca

Photography is a form of art and therapy. It is a means to express yourself and tell a story, even during difficult and extraordinary times like the one we are going through, a health emergency - both in expression and consequence - with the measures and limitations we have all experienced and continue to live through. For some, the pandemic is an experience that is not just a potential trauma but a real trauma, something new and unexpected. For many people and families, it has resulted in loss and great suffering. For still others, it has exacerbated situations of pre-existing hardship, fragility and isolation. In any case, trauma requires expression and an outlet.

Our chosen outlet is photography so we asked you to photograph what takes place during your everyday life. Photography is the art form which is the most relatable to us, our model of intervention, which allows people to become protagonists of their story and not just passive media users. During quarantine and the months of isolation, we started the #cometelapassi (#howareyoudoing), project by asking all of you to collaborate and tell us how you were spending those moments. All the images we received were direct testimonies taken from different parts of the world: Spain, Germany, Great Britain, France, Argentina, the United States. The goal of our project was to help people make sense of what was happening, to help process an imposed change and the emotions connected with it. This is because we have the power to activate resources, develop resilience and even create new innovative opportunities. This is what Photovoice Project wants to do with its activities and workshops.

In #cometelapassi, the camera and smartphone became narration tools, providing testimonial snapshots which expressed what people were experiencing, sharing, and how they were coming face-to-face with it in the best possible way. Snapshot after snapshot, we put together a collective story that went beyond the borders of Italy and showed us how people reacted, how they were occupying their time and shared space, discovering that often there were similar solutions. Storytelling is used as the curative treatment for stressful and traumatic experiences. They are often group narratives, because the group is a powerful tool for sharing and prevention. This is the reason we decided to give life to the project, to create a collective, a shared and shareable narrative, which went beyond geographical limits and brought people together just when we were asked to keep our distance. We created an imaginary “connect the dots” line of our common experiences that crossed state and regional borders and reconnected us.

We have also experienced our own boundaries this year, for both the methods of intervention and for the issues we are dealing with today. The use of virtual platforms in our laboratories with the Addiction Services through the Florence ASL represented a huge change of pace, but also an opportunity that allowed us to perfect our new online laboratory "Strade" (“Streets”). The experience and the stimuli we have received from your images and feedback have helped us to better understand the changes and refine our analysis tools to expand our laboratories both in the social field and through specific courses aimed at individuals and groups.