Complete online workshop in English

Registration is now open for the complete SPEX online workshop in English, from January 15 to April 15 2021, in our e-learning platform.

The complete SPEX workshop lasts three months, from January 15 to April 15 2021. It will allow you to experience SPEX on yourself: a journey through all aspects of your life, to create your own autobiographical visual project in the form of an artist photo book, which will be shared with the group (and other SPEX participants) in the platform at the end of the workshop. It consists of a series of exercises or self-portrait themes to stimulate your creative process. The objective of SPEX is to transform your emotions and experiences into photographic works, to work on the multiple perceptions of your images to amplify your perception of yourself, others and the world. The result of these processes is increased knowledge of yourself and your potential, empowerment and increased self-esteem (see below the participants’ feedbacks).

How does the online workshop work?

– You connect whenever you want, except for the 3 group Zooms, other sub-group Zooms you will organize with your peer participants and your individual sessions with Cristina.

– You will read the self-portrait exercises, methodology and perception criteria and get inspired by the image galleries.

– You will produce, select and upload your photos to your photo galleries

– You’ll learn to work on multiple perceptions and the choice of images.

– You will receive in-depth comments from the other participants and from Cristina, and comment on the photos of the other participants

– You will work in small groups in video call on the perception of images, the dialogue between images and the construction of autobiographical projects.

– You will learn how to make the images dialogue with each other, how to build sequences and your autobiographical project.

– You will be able to connect with other participants and with Cristina on the Whatsapp group and in the forum.

– We will make three group Zooms, one per month, during the workshop and other subgroup video calls.

– You will have two individual sessions with Cristina and one with your support facilitator during the workshop.

– There will be two support facilitators in addition to me.

See below the beautiful feedback from participants!

The price: 490 euro (see below the price clarification). BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), get 50% discount. Please contact us for more info: pr@self-portrait.eu)

Minimum number of participants: 7

Maximum number of participants: 15

For registrations, write us at pr@self-portrait.eu

The full workshop will give you access to the SPEX facilitator training in English starting during the fall 2021.

Feedback from the participants of the online workshop 2020:

For me it has been an extraordinary experience that will surely have an influence also in the future, after the workshop and the project is over. Besides, I’m very happy to have shared all this with some wonderful travel companions: it’s not obvious to share such deep things and when you do it you can create incredible alliances that I’m sure will be maintained over time.

I feel that something has changed. I am sure that thanks to this path I have been able to get closer to myself and this has had consequences: I have been able to understand better and make peace with some aspects of me that I was very much at odds with before and this obviously has further consequences on my self-esteem, in fact I feel more confident and stronger.

My path with the SPEX has not only had consequences inside me, but also outside of me, thanks to the proposed exercises I was able to start and consolidate an artistic research process on my roots, both in terms of places and family.

I can say that the project has saved me during these tough times. I do not know how I would have faced my father’s illness if I had not had the project to support me. There are different aspects of the method that, I think, came into play, for example taking pictures in the hospital, at night, allowed me to express the anguish that haunted me. Sitting there in the dark, listening to my father’s difficult breathing and the noise of the respirator, to materialize it and to be able to look at it, it was there in front of me in a picture. It was something tangible, no longer an indistinct magma pressing against my chest, taking my breath away, preventing me from moving, and as such I could face it. When my father was better, photographing us together or photographing him with my brother or mother was a way to rebuild a new intimate relationship. Many things had changed in the meantime, I had changed and so had he.

The analysis of my works led me to have multiple visions of me and the construction of the project allowed me to investigate a fundamental theme in my life giving me alternative visions of my history and my being.

Initially it was difficult to become familiar with the camera and I had the perception of producing images without any kind of link. When I started I had no idea what kind of project I was going to create, it was only clear towards the end. Once I had done more or less all the exercises, I noticed some common elements and thanks also to Cristina’s and the group’s advice I focused my project on the couple relationship. I started to write, I continued to shoot and make videos, until the themes of passion and my idea of love strongly emerged. So it seemed clear to me that the project responded to a need to tell a part of my life. I think this deeply influenced me and my way of perceiving relationships. Only in the end, after having published the final project, did I get the feeling that a process which had started in the complete darkness of the unconscious, had become clear to me.

I was able to express anxiety, boredom, loneliness, anger and resignation and representing them was a precious tool to face them and give them a voice. Usually I find it very hard to verbalize these states of mind, but I could capture them in a snapshot and rework those experiences in an alternative way through methods of analysis. This gave me the freedom to express myself and tell myself my own story.

Surely this process has also been a process of emotional growth and self-awareness. Having started and ended a path and the creation of a satisfactory project are two elements that have certainly influenced my self-esteem. Not only having accepted images of me that somehow upset me or that I don’t accept, but also having been able to do all this has made me feel powerful, present to myself and alive.

As to the theme of my project, LOVE, the emotional burden has become much lighter and now I feel those emotions, but in a more conscious way. It stimulated my creativity and my interest in continuing this path, it suggested stories different from the one I thought I was telling.

The SPEX workshop was useful to re-elaborate an aspect of my life that I considered in some way problematic and to redefine some emotional experiences related to it. To explore my emotions and my reactions to their expressions. To investigate my emotional relationships, the emotions related to them.

After every self-portrait session expressing difficult emotions I felt much better, relieved.

My self-esteem has increased in many ways. Setting up the photo studio, the camera, framing, then shooting and choosing the photos: all this requires attention and you are confronted with choices, even technical ones, and when you see the final results, you feel satisfaction. Then when you do the perceptive work on your photos, you look at yourself with less self-judgment. Moreover, the feedback from others is very enriching and is fundamental to help us to give other meanings to our photos.

Working with images you learn to be more familiar with your emotions. Moreover, when you do the session on emotions and try to represent them, you also learn to manage them better.

It helped me to put order in my own story. Reorganizing the images in a narrative allows you to find new senses and clarity in your life story.

The method and the context it created allowed me to open up to others and also to myself, especially on an emotional level. I think it was liberating, it was like dropping masks and abandoning oneself.

Today I notice the following changes: I feel calmer in listening and giving space to my emotions, but also in sharing them with others. Moreover, thanks to the method I have discovered how emotions can create something really strong and powerful on an extra-personal level, to the point of becoming “a work of art” and this intrigues and fascinates me, leading me to have a different approach to my emotions, especially the negative ones.

I once read an article which said that being an adult means forgiving one’s parents, stopping blaming them for all our failures. Accepting that they are not perfect and infallible and that we are not perfect and infallible either, forgive ourselves for having disappointed them, for not being able to live up to them, to finally leave room for love. That’s what the project has helped me to do, to forgive and forgive myself, to be at least a little more adult, whatever that means. In the mirror I see a different person, more autonomous, more confident, able to invent herself in a new way, even unusual I would say. And that made me feel great.

It’s strange, it was like looking at my emotions in the mirror, they were outside myself and I could look at them, observe them, dialogue with them, and even push them away from me. There was a very beautiful episode, in which the method allowed me to get rid of a very difficult emotion. I hadn’t found a way to express it otherwise and it was tearing me up inside. One day, at the beginning of the quarantine period, I had a very difficult discussion with my partner, I was trying to make him understand how frustrated I felt in this new situation, but I could not express the pain, the sense of constraint, the impossibility to plan a future. So I took refuge in my room and took pictures, so fast, while I was crying, while I was trying to throw out the anger, the sense of helplessness, but also the strength with which I wanted things to change, I wanted him to understand me and that we could find a meeting point. Why couldn’t I explain myself, why didn’t he understand? After taking the pictures I calmed down, I was able to stop crying, I felt less frustrated, less empty, less unhappy, more aware of me, of who I was, of what I wanted. A few days later I looked at the photos and saw many things I didn’t expect, anger, despair, helplessness, but also strength, so much strength and determination. And then I put the photos on the platform and I received two beautiful perceptions, one of which was really cathartic. Someone had managed to find the words I had not found and to express everything I wanted. It really touched me deeply.