This project explores my relationship with my mother and the influence the generations before us have had on our bond. When we researched this personal bond between my mother and me, we stumbled upon the subject of intergenerational trauma. The trauma of a parent can affect and be passed on to their offspring through psychological, environmental, and social aspects. How can the awareness of a family’s intergenerational trauma help with the process of healing from this trauma?
Intergenerational trauma is a known subject, but the cases that are mentioned are often related to a form of disaster. Intergenerational trauma is discussed following historic events such as the Holocaust, genocide, and slavery. However, experiences of intergenerational trauma relating to gender inequality, religion, and familial traumatic events are rarely discussed. This project aims to explore and bring attention to such cases.
Using photography as a therapeutic art form, my mother and I became aware of the trauma, and the healing process could begin. Through photographic exercises, we examined each other’s experiences, the women that came before us, our bond, and we engaged in self-reflection. This process and the research preparatory to the process is joined in my Thesis, titled “The Transfer of Trauma: A Personal Healing Process Through Research and Imagery”.
The personal process showcased in this project is shown on the Like Daughters, Like Mothers website. This website exhibits my personal process as an example that can encourage others to reflect on their family history and possible trauma. The photographic method I have used is described in a manual featured on the website.