How Do We Heal?
An exhibit on view in the Center for Documentary Studies Porch Gallery features the photographs of CDS undergraduate Sherry Zhang. As part of the RIPP Fellowship in the Documentary Arts, Zhang was mentored this past fall by CDS instructor and cofounder Alex Harris. Zhang’s documentary portrait series of Duke women explores the themes of trauma and transformation in each of the women’s lives.
“In an endless sea of opportunities, we can either sink or swim. At Duke, I’ve done both. Over the past two years, in order to help me cope with difficult issues in my own life, I sought out a broad range of Duke women to talk about their own experiences dealing with trauma,” says Zhang. “Through the process, this project transformed from an exhibit about trauma to an exhibit about healing. You’ll notice that none of the portraits have captions and that’s because captions could never sufficiently describe who these women are. It is my hope that you will take the time today to meditate on each portrait in order to get a sense of the strength, beauty, and complexity, of these women.”
“The RIPP Fellowship has helped me grow immensely as an artist through the incredible mentorship and community support,” says Zhang. “The RIPP Fellowship allowed me to pursue what I loved, which is storytelling and connecting with others. With the help of Alex, I was better able to frame my work to deliver my intended message. I learned how to make a cohesive body of work and refine my artistic vision. Seeing the process from beginning to end has been unbelievable and inspires me to keep creating.”
The exhibition and public forum are supported by the RIPP Fellowships in the Documentary Arts.