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By L. Fayard and V. St. Phard November 18, 2011
Through the lens of fashion photographer David Jay, women who survived breast cancer rediscover their undefeated beauty and dignity.
Cary Goldberg, The Scar Project, © David Jay Photography
I think back on the time I met my friend David Jay at one of those trendy restaurant downtown on September 11th, this year. The city was quiet. We started speaking about photography, and its power of communication. Then the conversation led to a photo of "Glee" star Heather Morris sporting a fake black eye, and how a message can be understood differently depending on the person. David has worked in fashion for major publications in New York and overseas. He has dedicated himself to having an impact on subjects that are quite often denied and he helped women deal with traumas that can be healed through understanding and acceptance. Ultimately our discussion went into his upcoming exhibit – The SCAR Project.
My interest was picked, so I decided to check this installation, before heading back home. I was taken by the fact that David Jay was thinking differently. After viewing one image after the next, it became clear that he had a mission, not solely a statement. As stated in his website, his mission – as he discovered it on the way – was to reveal in his photographs, these women's undefeated dignity:
Although Jay began shooting The SCAR Project primarily as an awareness raising campaign, he was not prepared for something much more immediate . . . and beautiful: “For these young women, having their portrait taken seems to represent their personal victory over this terrifying disease. It helps them reclaim their femininity, their sexuality, identity and power after having been robbed of such an important part of it. Through these simple pictures, they seem to gain some acceptance of what has happened to them and the strength to move forward with pride."
Jay is not interested in showing in galleries per se but in museums. His message goes towards women who suffer from being labelled as ghosts because they had breast cancer operations. David's work is about having an impact on people’s lives by creating a community and making them realize they are not alone, that they are human and dignity still exists even after surgery.
The SCAR Project composes a ballet of compassion.
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Laurence Fayard and Vyna St Phard
WATCH some of the pictures included in THE SCAR PROJECT (on Geeshie Wiley's “Skinny Leg Blues”).
WATCH the Trailer of "Style Exposed: Baring It All", a movie documenting the making of The Scar Project.
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