Beautiful portraits with a purpose: Liezel van der Merwe’s Scars series aims to raise awareness about abuse.

Scars is a series of portraits taken by Capetonian photographer Liezel van der Merwe in an attempt to raise awareness around the issue of abuse. In her words:

“A few months ago I had an idea to show how people’s words and actions leave marks behind on others lives and wondered if we would be any kinder if we saw the damage we left. I discussed this idea with a few women and they all agreed to sit for a photo shoot in support to stop abuse against women and children. These women and children all sat voluntarily and became a visual petition for the cause.

“Painted hands were transferred on to their bodies in different positions representing blows to the face and body but also became symbols of silencing and controlling a victim.

“Initially the sessions were straight forward, but soon it came apparent that most of the women were either a victim of abuse or directly affected by someone who has or still is being abused. The sessions became very emotional at stages but also brought a sense of healing.

“The photographs were then made into black and white and finally brought together in a movie clip with words and music.

“This project would not have been possible without the following people: Ingrid Owen, Jene’ Steyn, Margaret Masunte, Ntabiseng Masunte, Karin Wainwright, Gemma Boucher, Melanie Davids, Cassidy Davids, Tracey-Rae Siebert, Vivien Sebastian, Nicolette Levens & Ravonna McLean.”

Photographs shared with permission. Post originally appeared here.

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Scars: Portraits By Liezel Van Der Merwe

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