Healing Justice SB Launches Photo Campaign to Encourage Voting

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By edhat staff

Healing Justice Santa Barbara has launched a powerful "Art is Activism" photo campaign dedicated to voter empowerment in the upcoming election.

The local nonprofit that focuses on uplifting Black/African American community members states the campaign is a visual representation of solidarity.

“All communities who have the privilege of voting must show up for each other,” said Leticia Forney Resch, the project’s Creative Director, Healing Justice SB co-organizer, and owner of Fresch Events. “We must act with urgency and intention, to uplift the most marginalized voices and demand change in our systems. Through design, body paint, floral and photography, we captured powerful images for a diverse demographic of real people. Our models came from different backgrounds, professions, age groups and orientations.”

  
Bukola Ishola (top) and Danica Acosta (bottom) [Photos by Michelle Ramirez]

The photo series depicts community members with powerful statements painted on their bodies connected to important voting issues. Some of the phrases included "Climate Change" with body paintings of fire and water with floral shrowds around the model's head and arms. Other phrases include "Abolish ICE," "Black Lives Matter," and "MMWIG" which stands for "Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls." Nearly every model had the word "vote" painted somewhere on their bodies. 

"It was incredible being a part of a creative project to encourage people to vote regarding issues that could adversely impact our lives," said participant and local resident Bukola Ishola. 

All artists and models involved were moved to participate out of a desire to uplift historically underserved peoples and by centering the power of many different types of bodies and people participants united in support of dismantling notions of one body type encompassing beauty-normalizing that all body types are valid, said Forney Resch.

The photographs and videos will be available on Healing Justice SB's Instagram and website. As part of the ongoing media campaign, Healing Justice SB will release photos daily on Instagram and hope that these images inspire viewers to participate in local and national political actions. The producers will encourage the public to repost the photos broadly as part of a grassroots effort to spread awareness of issues that will be immediately impacted by the results of the upcoming (local, state, and federal) elections.

  
(Top) Aliya Gutierrez / Photo Anna Delores and (bottom) Vienna Jow / Photo by Michelle Ramirez

Aside from the models, local businesses and creatives volunteered their time, gifts, and talents to bring this project to fruition. Terra Cobian Photography, Emily Ritter with Anna Delores Photography and Michelle Ramirez Photography used their lens to capture striking photos of this installation. Painters Chante Glover with Copper Raven Studios and Chelsea Willett with Chelsea Willett Designs created illustrations of key voting issues. Floral and design elements were done courtesy of Intrepid Floral, Tangled Lotus Designs, Alexis Ireland Florals, Array Design, and Wild Heart Events. Beauty services were provided by Blushing Beauty and Jessica Herdrich.