(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) – January 5, 2017 – Alpha Home – a local addiction treatment center – is pleased to partner with artist Branislav Jankic to screen Letter to My Mother, a short film about mothers struggling with addiction. The event will take place on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Santikos Palladium. Tickets for the film are $10 and can be purchased here: https://www.santikos.com/Booking/palladium-imax/3969409
Following the film’s screening, a Q&A will take place with Branislav Jankic and Monika Jac Jagaciak (Directors of the film), Dr. Richard P. Usatine (Professor of Family and Community Medicine at UT Health Science Center) (UTHSCSA), Melissa Dobbertin (Outpatient and Admissions Director at Alpha Home and one of the mothers featured in the film) and Rachel Rivera (Alpha Home Alumnae and one of the mothers featured in the film). The Letter to My Mother book will be available for sale and signing by the artist. Funds raised by this project will be donated to recovery homes that help mothers with addiction and their children in the United States.
Letter to My Mother is a visual and literary body of work created by artist Branislav Jankic that reveals an impactful look into the lives of mothers suffering from addiction in the United States. The project strives to lift the stigma of addiction and create an international support system for those suffering from this disease. The short film was shot during the first exhibition of the project in New York, June 2016. Alpha Home staff and Alumnae are featured in Letter to My Mother.
The book came to fruition after Jankic learned of his mother’s painful diagnosis – terminal lung cancer – in November 2012. Jankic, who had experienced his own struggles with addiction throughout his teenage years, began a quest to reassess his relationship with his mother.
He began the process by starting a letter to his mother, reconciling with her and her life-long challenges, specifically the abuse of prescription drugs and alcohol. This act became the catalyst that set Jankic off on a journey to bring a narrative, not frequently told, to the forefront – to pro- duce a dialogue about motherhood and addiction outside of its stereotypically taboo associations. In August of 2013, Jankic and the project’s Producer, Goran Macura, set off on their quest, traveling the United States for 11 days, (1,200 miles by ground and 7,518 by air); visiting 6 states, including San Antonio, Texas, and photographing 40 women and their children.
In August of 2013, Jankic and the project’s Producer Goran Macura, set off on their quest, traveling the United States for 11 days, (1,200 miles by ground and 7,518 by air); visiting 6 states, including San Antonio, Texas, and photographing 40 women and their children.
The book chronicles the stories of mothers and their families as they openly tell their stories about addiction, abuse, shame, strength, and gratitude in a single letter accompanied by an intimate portrait. The large-format medium, which harkens back to classical portraiture and is ac- companied by a tedious and time consuming process, was chosen by Jankic to highlight the strength, endurance, and confidence of these women in recovery. Their restrained movement during the shoot allowed the subjects to speak only with their eyes creating beautiful, honest, and haunting portraits.
“My mother, all of these women, all of their children – they are beautiful. There is not one face of addiction. The women I chose are not defined by their disease, but by their motherhood. It can affect anyone, addiction doesn’t discriminate,” says Jankic “It was important for me to make that point – to show these women’s faces with the ultimate goal to make the conversation around addiction an open one, it doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be hidden by shame.” – Branislav Jankic
In honor of these women, Jankic translated Letter to My Mother into an immersive multimedia installation that also bears the same name as the book for four days in June 2016 in New York City. The short film was shot during this period while the exhibition was installed. The display, like the book, included 12 portraits of women whose stories were especially powerful for Jankic as well as a series of written and recorded letters, a celebration of the subject’s bravery. The number 12 was chosen consciously in order to reference several contradicting yet relevant existing connotations of the number: the 12 Olympians, the 12 pillars of success, 12 step addiction programs, and 12 as a religiously charged historical recurrence.
Each of these manifestations carry positive weight: hope, faith, strength, community; but they also hold negative associations: loneliness, shame, violence, vulnerability. Jankic invites the viewer to contemplate both ends of this spectrum, as emotions and perspectives have changed throughout the addicts’ personal journeys and amongst societal perceptions. In order for a new dialogue around addiction to commence, dichotomies such as these, especially in relation to motherhood, must be acknowledged.
Tickets for the film are $10 and can be purchased here: https://www.santikos.com/Booking/palladium-imax/3969409
Letter to My Mother film trailer can be viewed here: http://lettertomymother.us/trailer/
Letter to My Mother books are available for purchase at this link and will also be sold at the event: https://www.rizzolibookstore.com/letter-my-mother
Letter to My Mother website for more information about the project : http://lettertomymother.us
About Alpha Home:
Since its beginning in 1966, Alpha Home has served over 22,000 women in San Antonio and the surrounding counties. The mission of Alpha Home is to offer a pathway of hope, healing and recovery through spiritually based drug and alcohol services and support.
About Branislav Jankic:
Born in 1983 in Vukovar (former Yugoslavia), is a conceptual artist and photographer living and working in New York. After finishing his studies in Germany in 2008, Jankic travelled to Milan, where he met the distinguished photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri, who became his mentor. Upon moving to New York in 2009, Jankic had the opportunity to work with renowned fashion photographer Bruce Weber. Jankic is now a multi-media artist drawing on his own life experiences combining childhood memories, cultural traditions, tales, and rituals along with studies in philosophy and psychology. He looks to use his personal experiences and immediate environment to create artworks that speak to his audience in a wider context. His most recent exhibition, Flowers of My Life, was shown in Milan in March of 2016.