Deji Fadero is a photographer & filmmaker, and his Anxiety Series was recently exhibited at The Consent Workshop‘s art exhibition in Toronto. The Consent Workshop is a movement aimed at deconstructing rape culture through consent education and the Anxiety series by Deji Fadero tries to shed light on the phases rape survivors typically go through in the search for healing.
Deji Fadero speaking:
I was scrolling through Instagram, and I came across a post by The Consent Workshop, a movement dismantling rape culture and helping survivors get justice. At the time, it was their Toronto Art Workshop/Seminar, and they had completed the list of artists whose works will be showcased. I really wanted to be a part of the event so I reached out to the founder of the organization and asked if they had room for one more person, and luckily for me there was. We spoke for a bit, and she explained to me that the pieces I was going to exhibit, had to be centered around rape. I had no works on rape yet, but I knew I wanted to tell the story of survivors. I wanted to highlight what the life of survivors feels like in the best way I could.
See images from the series and synopsis by Deji Fadero
synonyms: overwhelm, sink, drown, engulf.
A friend suffering from anxiety and depression once described how it felt to deal with anxiety. Imagine putting a piece of paper in water, it floats undisturbed for a while, but gradually, water engulfs the paper until it’s completely soaked. I tried capturing and representing said feeling in this image.
We can’t understand what certain people go through if we’ve never walked a mile in their shoes, and often, this is evident in how we relate with people with anxiety disorders.
ROCK-BOTTOM [rock-bot·tom] : the lowest possible level
This image tries to capture a point where almost everyone with anxiety disorder has been. It’s the point where you feel out of control, like there’s a disconnect between your mind and body. Anxiety is a key part of other disorders like: panic disorder, phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder & post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I find the image quite interesting. Depending on how you look at this photograph, if you look horizontally, rather than vertically, it still evokes a certain kind of emotion.
LIMBO [lim-boh]: an intermediate, transitional, or midway state.
This is probably my favorite photograph of the series because, for a split second, in an infinite number of seconds, everything seemed to stand still, and I was able to capture the perfect balance between submersion and ascension.
This photograph is my attempt at showing the state where everything isn’t bad, but not as great as you wish. It’s that point where we are living just to get by, and keep it moving because we hope for better days. It’s literally a “this too shall pass” phase, or a “state of limbo.”
HEAD-FIRST [hed-furst]: without overthinking
synonyms: Head-on, dive, plunge
A ‘just do it’ situation
The last image of the series is shown in color unlike the rest in black and white. I intended to use this to depict choice;
- choosing to be true to yourself, by accepting the fact that you have gone through an experience.
- choosing to realize you have the power to ameliorate your current state.
- choosing to tackle the situation head on rather than allowing the state of limbo persist.
When compared to the opening state of submersion, entering the state of limbo may feel like an improvement, but true progress comes only when you decide to utilize the power of choice. Choose to seek help, even though it may be hard, choose to speak up even against the odds, choose to heal regardless.
See more of Deji Fadero works here