Capturing Survivor Healing
SEEN is a powerful and compelling new collection of fine-art portraits which offer glimpses into the complex healing journeys of survivors of sexual abuse.
Commissioned by the Sexual Assault Center, photographer Dan Heller conceived the project as an expanding series of collaborations where survivors’ recovery stories are expressed through nuanced visual representations of long-suppressed emotions and experiences.
Working with Dan to shape their own narratives through the medium of photography, project participants — SEEN survivors — break free of reductive stereotyping to reveal authentic inner worlds, untethered by judgments and cultural overlays. SEEN survivors are truly seen –not defined by one event, trauma, or circumstance, but as courageous, strong, and resilient humans, often raw and vulnerable.
Ultimately, SEEN survivors express their unfiltered truths by controlling visual concepts, locations, their bodies and space around them and in doing so, regain power. They define the essence of courage and hope, demonstrating how sharing their stories of trauma within a supportive community can have positive, lasting and life-changing effects. As such, SEEN aims to inspire other survivors to step forward to reclaim personal agency and seek a brighter path toward hope and healing.
SeenSurvivors.org published the first series of portraits in this first-of-its-kind project, starting with “Duanna”, whose uplifting story inspired the defining image of the collection. We encourage you to purchase a copy of the complete collection and sign up to receive important updates on SEEN.
The First Edition book, SEEN Survivors released in 2022 as a limited edition, exclusive thank you gift for select Sexual Assault Center donors. The response was so positive, we released a second edition version available for purchase this month.
Dan Heller and the Sexual Assault Center thank Presenting Sponsor HCA Healthcare / TriStar Health, The Frist Foundation and Smith-Douglas Homes for their generous support of this innovative and powerful approach to healing and community engagement.