Breath

A series of experimental videos by Mehreen Hashmi

When a person is having a panic attack, their breathing stops as if the way from air to their lungs is blocked, the heart starts to palpate at the highest rate, shivers go down the spine and the whole world starts to shatter in front of them. And when this episode is triggered with other mental illnesses such as PTSD, it goes towards paranoia, extreme fear, thoughts of self-harm, and excruciating emotional pain. So close your eyes; combine these two in your mind and try to walk in their shoes for a second. I bet, you cannot stand it. Then combine with social suppression, societal judgments, risks of safety, and regular functioning, it will seem impossible to function. But why a person feels this way, how does trauma respond to a person’s mind and body? This show is a narration of the my own ordeal as well as several other trauma survivors of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse who go through this with and without professional help. This is how the damage has been done by predators and abusers to women, children, and men as well. 

Being a survivor of childhood physical and emotional abuse, and sexual assaults, I have been living with developmental trauma and my work is a narration of my emotional state of several time periods while attempting to process and heal. It depicts social stigmas towards victims and its aftermath on their lives. My work falls under the category of art activism to create awareness for trauma awareness, its recovery and suffering of abuse survivors afterwards.

1. When I died in my own apartment in my own bedroom in my own bed during a pandemic

2 . When they killed me in my own apartment in my room, in my own bed

3. When I spoke gibberish and looked for my safe places outside my own room in my own apartment

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