Originally from the Seattle area, L.K. Thomas is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and recent winner of the Lenscratch Student Prize. During her teen years she developed PTSD from sexual trauma. Exploring her symptoms and recovery from this trauma through photography became an act of catharsis. Self-defined as a “trauma photographer,” L.K. takes interest in the process of healing — with subjects ranging from landscape to others suffering from the same disorder. Three years after her diagnosis, L.K. now works with and interviews women who also suffer from PTSD due to sexual assault and rape.
Echoes – Growing Up With PTSD: A Consequence of Juvenile Rape
At 14 years old, Lauren was raped for the first time and would not be diagnosed with PTSD for another 5 years because she felt unable to tell someone. Unfortunately, her story is not an uncommon one. In our society, rape and sexual assault are incredibly common issues. In Lauren Thomas’s series, Echoes – Growing Up With PTSD: A consequence of Juvenile Rape, she conducted interviews with three women who were at varying levels of dealing with their trauma. The images based on these interviews often seem comforting at first, but become colored by the trauma described in the interviews. PTSD affects the part of the brain that allows people to distinguish between past and present memories. Many women experience triggers in places that simply remind them of where their trauma took place, thus creating echoes of memories that exist in no particular space or time. When the viewer interacts with the images through the interviews, they become witness to these stories as a close family member or friend would be. Through encouraging more people to be active witnesses, Lauren hopes to encourage more sufferers of sexual trauma to break their silence as she was able to.
To view more of Lauren’s work please visit her website.