Ellen Nolan


Images taken from (Her)story, © Ellen Nolan, 2020



(Her)story


(Her)story is an image-text dialogue about my experience of coercive control in a former relationship. The images, taken both during and before that time are interweaved with extracted journal entries that were written over a three-year period. The resulting narrative sequence creates something nuanced, offering a different way of looking and thinking about this complex and difficult subject matter.


Coercive control is now recognised as a crime in the UK under the Domestic Violence Act, and a new bill is being finalised through parliament this year with the help of twenty human rights lawyers, MPs and ministers. Coercive control is the 'unseen' abuse that usually takes the form of psychological and emotion control and abuse. Survivors are encouraged to keep diaries of their abuse. Whilst my own journal began as a way to understand what was happening to me, it later developed into a cathartic means of exploration of my internal experience through creative writing from a female photographer’s perspective.


(Her)story alludes to the notion of a dominant patriarchal history, compared to the feminine experience, which is often muted and unseen. I am interested through my artist and academic research in creating counter hegemonic discourse through already existing female archives and narratives, mine being one of them.


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