By Agrippina Fadel
Tamarac resident and longtime victim’s advocate Susan Buzzi has received an Individual Artist Grant through the Broward Cultural Division for her photo documentary “This is How I Feel.”
With the help of the $3,000 grant — the third one she received from the county — Buzzi put together an exhibit at the Sunrise Civic Center Theatre Gallery.
From September 16 to October 22, the exhibition examines domestic violence and abuse and the recent alarming statistics surrounding both men and women in intimate relationships. Buzzi created 28 art pieces and accompanying legal and informative text on the subject and photographed real victims of domestic violence for her project, altering the images in post-production to protect their identities.
The exhibit’s opening reception on September 18 at 3 p.m. includes the artist’s short lecture.
“This is an unpleasant yet necessary conversation that I have advocated for many years, and as a former law enforcement officer, certified coach practitioner, and educator,” she said.
Buzzi works with traditional film and develops it by hand in the darkroom, often combining digital manipulation afterward. “With these techniques, I can preserve the basic photographic process: capturing specific moments before the shutter trip, and then creating new layers to enhance and extend the imagery,” she explained.
A Mainlands resident for over ten years, Buzzi teaches Expressive Therapy at Atlantis Academy in Coral Springs.
In 2015, she photographed residents for the “This is Tamarac” art project, with large black and white photographs later displayed on the walls of the city’s community center.
Buzzi’s family had its own experience with domestic violence when her 22-year-old niece was murdered by her partner in front of their 9-month-old child in 2014.
“Ever since that happened, I’ve been driven to bring awareness to this subject and help others,” the artist said.
She added that making communities aware of domestic violence, abuse, and stalking had become even more critical during COVID when many victims were trapped at home with their abusers.
Buzzi said domestic violence victims deal with a lot of stigmas, embarrassment, and trauma. As a result, many cases do not get reported, which makes it more critical for the communities to know the warning signs and offer support to the survivors.
“I am so very grateful for this extraordinary opportunity to present this documentary,” said Buzzi. “It is critical for Broward communities to become familiar with warning signs and ways to support victims with safe transitions and recovery.”
The Sunrise Civic Center is located at 10610 West Oakland Park Blvd. in Sunrise. For more information about the exhibit, call 954-747-4646.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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