life lines

svea vikander

I am a Montréal-based visual artist and intern psychotherapist, working with issues of bodily self-determination and body image. The project I presented at Study in Action 2010 is called Life Lines and can be found online at In this project, I am interested in creating alternative visual representations of traditionally ‘unsightly’ places. I photograph people’s scars and document their narratives – about how they acquired their scars and about what meaning they find the outside world attributes to them.

Since I began to exhibit the project in 2006, I have received submissions from around the world – people who have photographed themselves and who wish to share their own stories/images. While my work explicitly focuses on a ‘taboo’ or ‘unsightly’ subject area, it is a body-positive, anti-ableist project. In essence, it aims to address the oppression felt by people whose physical appearance marks them as ‘other’, to encourage a safe (and anonymous) exchange of stories and images about personal struggles to overcome illness, disease, accident, violent attack, surgical procedures, etc.; and finally, to encourage viewers to reconsider their ideas about their own bodies, as well as the bodies of others.

1. tamara
2. shara
3. andrea
4. kevin
5. peter