Exposing the 'Quiet Trauma': The Illness Narratives of Jo Spence
Jones, Ebonipearl Emele J.
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According to trauma theorist E. Ann Kaplan,"quiet traumas" are events that are personal, and that do not effect the larger scheme of things. Jo Spence, a British photographer, processed her quiet traumas-breast cancer and leukemia-through art and brought them into the public sphere, in order for a collective witness and healing experience, with the concept of her works as being of therapeutic value for herself, as well as for viewers. This thesis examines a few of Spence's photographs in tandem with her critical writings, as well as putting her works into an art historical context, being compared and contrasted to artists who did similar work, such as Hannah Wilke.