"Why 'Unconventional Apology?'"
At Unconventional Apology Project’s (UAP) core, we are engaged in a transformative portrait and interview series on domestic violence. We use what we call "survivorship storytelling" to share first-hand stories of triumph over domestic violence. We are focused on shifting the global discourse on domestic violence and how we perceive and engage with survivors and their loved ones. UAP encourages society to take a critical look at how we have made survivors appear (or disappear) in media and other social outlets. They have lost their personhood, and are reduced to an event. This portrait project aims to shift our experience.
"What is the significance of using your grandfather’s camera?"
This is the crux of Unconventional Apology Project. My grandfather was never held accountable for my grandmother's murder. Using his camera to amplify the voices of domestic violence survivors symbolically forces him to face the effects of his actions and the actions of other abusers on every participant. My grandfather represents other abusers, much like my grandmother represents other abused women. Using his camera to document the Trail of Existence of women impacted and silenced by abuse is the Unconventional Apology.
"Why is there a focus on abused women?"
The immediate focus of Unconventional Apology Project is to symbolize Mableine Nelson Barlow's experience as a woman who was a victim of domestic violence. Unfortunately, domestic violence affects all demographics. It's our goal to shed as much light as possible on the domestic violence/intimate partner violence experience from a perspective of love and care for those that have come forward to participate.
"What qualifies as abuse?"
For Unconventional Apology Project, the definition of domestic abuse will fall under physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and coercion, reproductive coercion and financial abuse (The National Domestic Violence Hotline).
"Who is behind Unconventional Apology Project?"
Chantal Barlow is an abstract artist based in Los Angeles, California and the granddaughter of Mableine Nelson Barlow. She has been developing and structuring the Project since early 2014, with the launch of the first portrait in August 2014. For more details, visit the PROJECT TEAM page.
"UAP: Interviews, Portraits, Book, Exhibit and Documentary"
When Unconventional Apology Project reaches 36 portraits, we will exhibit the portraits in person in an immersive, interactive experience in Los Angeles. We have been filming a documentary since the project's inception, capturing intimate conversations with participants and pivotal moments for Unconventional Apology. The documentary will continue to be in production until we film the closing reception of the exhibit. We are delighted to share project happenings along the way with our closet champions first. Please sign up for our newsletter: Join. To share your story, help with the exhibit or documentary please CONTACT us.
"Can I have my portrait taken?"
We would love for women or men who are currently based in the greater Los Angeles area to share their Trail of Existence. We have some loose guidelines for your safety in order for you to participate. Please CONTACT us about your interest.
"Where are you located?"
Los Angeles, California.
"How can I donate to the Project?"
Unconventional Apology Project is an artistic endeavor currently funded by Chantal Barlow, creator of Unconventional Apology. Monetary contributions will be used to host photo shoots with survivors and cover operational costs of continuing the Project's work. Unconventional Apology Project is neither a non-profit or for-profit organization. Chantal considers her work an act of social impact. If you would like to become one of our Sponsors, please send us a detailed message on the CONTACT page.
"Where can I get help for myself or others who are experiencing abuse?"
We encourage you to do your own research on mental health and domestic abuse services in your area that fit your needs and promote your safety and well-being. A good place to start is the National Domestic Violence Hotline: thehotline.org 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).