We are excited to announce that our next Trauma Informed FREEDOM PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT has been supported by The Bearr Trust & Shutter Hub, which means Emma & Becky will be travelling to Armenia in a few short weeks (February 2020) to deliver a project with Domestic Violence Survivors, their advocates, Artists & Activists at The Women’s Support Centre (WSC) in Yerevan Armenia. We’ll be delivering a creative healthy relationships training program for support staff at Yerevan’s Women’s Support Centre, alongside a participatory photography program for DV survivors, activists, and artists.

Our aim is to build an exhibition that raises awareness of organisations, individuals and causes that fight for the freedom to belong, whether that be in their homeland, in their new-found home or in the body. Becky’s experience as a Dramatherapist underpins the project and as part of the training we explore ways in which we can raise the voices of survivors of violence, displacement, and marginalisation without retraumatising the participants. Award-winning photographer and PhotoVoice practitioner Emma Brown delivers a powerful photography training which enables our participants to tell their stories around freedom and identity from the safety of behind the camera with techniques to create strong visual storytelling.

Olive Branch Arts work creatively with displaced communities here in the UK and abroad, we are committed to building relationships across communities to promote love, dignity, and care for all people who seek refuge. We are committed to sharing our participant’s stories around the world to enable them to be seen and heard by a new audience. To this end we will be launching the resulting exhibition of the participants work from Armenia on International Women’s Day 2020 in London before it tours several cities worldwide.

By offering participants a safe place to come together and learn new skills we aim to develop bonds and confidence across this community of women and their supporters, enabling them to visually document their own stories. By focusing on the moments of freedom they cherish the ultimate idea of this work is to reduce the isolation of this community through the sharing of photography.

The Freedom Photography Project came about due to a question from Tumana, one of the participants during our Photography training on the Sahrawi Refugee Camps in 2017, she asked “How do you photograph Freedom?” The impact of that question and our exploration of it the following year on the camps gave birth to an idea that has since found us working with the charity Play for Progress and their unaccompanied young refugees in London and now with the WSC, a domestic violence charity in Armenia.

Here at Olive Branch, we believe in the transformative power of storytelling.

If you would like to support our work here are a number of ways, you can subscribe to our newsletter, donate to our Sahrawi Project, get involved in the Freedom Project, visit our shop, invite our Sahrawi Exhibition & Talk into your place of work/community or follow us on Twitter & Facebook.

We offer a broad range of therapeutic arts-based experiences and training programmes designed to engage, challenge and support people of all ages and backgrounds, and look to create work of artistic excellence for, with and by the community.

Through the exploration of multi-art forms, we aim to empower participants to find their voice, promoting social change and a deeper understanding of ourselves, and the world around us.

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…passionate about people
and the arts…

Arts Council England