'Stories weaved into art': Meet an artist who uses her work to help survivors of trauma

The "May We Know Our Own Strength" installation was launched to give people a chance to share their stories as a way to heal.

News 12 Staff

May 16, 2021, 5:47 PM

Updated 1,061 days ago

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A Brooklyn-based neuroscientist turned artist is using her platform to help survivors of trauma share their stories through art.
The "May We Know Our Own Strength" installation in Chelsea was launched in April to give people a chance to share their stories as a way to heal.
"This is a way where they can safely unburden and see their stories weaved into art," Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya explains.
Through stories, color and code, Phingbodhipakkiya gives survivors a voice.
"Spaces for affirmation, spaces where we feel like there is room for our flaws," she says.
Those who pass the Manhattan store front located in the Meatpacking District will see lightbulbs alongside 16 printers. It is designed as a safe haven through print that is used to anonymously share stories of survival after trauma and abuse.
"The incandescent bulb that turns on is almost like an acknowledgement that someone is listening, and once that turns on, it triggers the printer, 1 of 16, to print your story," Phingbodhipakkiya says.
She launched the installation in partnership with New York City Commission of Human Rights and hopes it brings forward the power of spaces for healing and affirmation.
"So many people have come to me and said, 'you know, this work really makes me feel like I belong,'" Phingbodhipakkiya says.
All of the artistic pieces were each hand crafted, each strand of paper is a true story submitted from a survivor who has come forward, with some shared from around the globe.
"I feel like every time I fold and crease and shape paper, I am certainly releasing a long-held burden," Phingbodhipakkiya says.
As a survivor herself, Phingbodhipakkiya hopes her space helps others feel safe and remember that healing and growth after trauma is possible.
"It made me reflect on my own survivor story and how I would've really benefitted as a young person from a space where I felt like my story was held with respect and dignity," she says.
Survivor story submissions are still being accepted at her website.


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