| | Filed under Behind the scenes, Observations.

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I’m a four-year cancer survivor. Not only that, I’m currently, as I speak, survivING cancer. Yep: I’m back on chemo. I’m playing whack-a-mole with cancer – or maybe cancer thinks it’s playing whack-a-mole with me. But I keep coming back. Let me tell you who I REALLY am. I’m a native New Yorker. I’ve been with my husband for 25 years. We have a 10-year-old daughter starting middle school in September. I’m a former budget backpacker who’s trekked in Nepal. I’m a business consultant specializing in start-up companies. I co-founded a nonprofit arts project online. I’m a writer and artist. Please note that none of this was in my medical file until very recently. Just a little bit of it… Read more »

| | Filed under Profiles.

Sharon King and Jessica Safran, August 2013. Photo: Julie Hassett Sutton.

I met Sharon King at a cancer support group in 2011. Six months into my time with the group, I shared the idea my friend Julie and I had for a photography-based art project with cancer survivors called The Identity Shift Project. It would be a forum for people to publicly project their identity beyond being a cancer case, no matter where they were in their cancer journey, and share their stories. Then Sharon was away from group for a couple of weeks. The day she returned, when I sat down next to her, she silently pushed a magazine clipping on the couch cushion over to me. I looked at it. Torn out of a magazine called Midwest Living, it… Read more »

| | Filed under Behind the scenes.

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Nature Morte, our most recently added photo gallery, is a departure from the portrait series we’ve been doing to date. It is our series of medical objects and devices re-imagined as objects of beauty. While the French nature morte literally translated to English is “dead nature,” it’s meaning in English is “still life.” The idea for Nature Morte actually originated during one of the shoots we did with my friend Sharon and her family and friends. Both she and her husband had been given radiation for their cancers, and they had taken home the immobilization molds used to hold their bodies still in the exact positions required by the radiation treatment machines. The molds appeared as sculptural objects of beauty when we… Read more »

| | Filed under Announcements.

The Identity Shift Project

“I feel a lump.” “Our business was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.” “Your tour of duty is complete.” It can all change in a moment – in the time it takes to utter a sentence. We’ve all had this experience at one time or another in the context of other life narratives; maybe, for example, one of these: “You’re hired.” “Twins?” “I want a divorce.” There are countless identity shifts happening all the time. What’s yours? While we can make an external change in seconds, which could mean a change in status or position, the internal transition within a person takes a lot longer, especially when a new role, skill set, or way of being requires a shift in patterns of… Read more »