Participants remained alone in the studio in front of the video camera for about 2-3 minutes without speaking, focusing on their emotions, trying to let them out, to express the vulnerability, the uneasiness, the pain or whatever is not “cool”…

I AM, employs contemporary art & artists as mechanisms for social activism within recovery from addiction by providing a platform to articulate recovery experiences. It brings together, artists, arts-for-health, and drug & alcohol treatment agencies, cultural and public organisations to create a cohesive grouping to bring a disenfranchised people to high quality artistic experiences.

The 2 year European project looks at how the arts and culture can support people in recovery from substance misuse to develop new life-opportunities through self-portraiture by working with international artists.

Led by Portraits of Recovery; an Oldham/Manchester based, visual arts charity the project has been developed in partnership with Arts for Health, at Manchester Metropolitan University, Gruppo Incontro Cooperativa Sociale and F.E.D.E.R.S.E.R.D – Italy, and the Turkish Green Crescent Society, Kütahya branch.

Project manager, Mark Prest, from Portraits of Recovery, said: “Recovery is a process of transformation, a passage that reconfigures a person’s identity. The resulting artworks will offer a powerful exhibition of participants’ voices as presented through their stories as well as their portraits beyond clichéd representations.”