Alpha Home partners with artist Branislav Jankic to screen “Letter To My Mother,” a short film and art exhibition that reveals an impactful look into the lives of mothers suffering from addiction
The project strives to lift addiction stigma and offer hope to those struggling with this disease
(SAN ANTONIO, Texas) – July 25, 2017 –Alpha Home – a local addiction treatment center – is pleased to partner with artist Branislav Jankic to present Letter to My Mother, a short film and art exhibition about mothers struggling with addiction. The project features many Alpha Home staff and Alumnae. The exhibition has previously only been shown in New York.
The one-night only event will take place on Thursday, August 17, 2017, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. The film will be screened at 7 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.alphahome.org
Artist Branislav Jankic in front of the art exhibition view of “Letter To My Mother” at Spring Studio Gallery, New York, June 2016. Photo courtesy: Branislav Jankic
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, particularly mothers. The short film was shot during the first exhibition of the project in New York, June 2016.
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.
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 art exhibition 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 event are $10 and can be purchased here: www.alphahome.org
Letter to My Mother film trailer can be viewed here: http://lettertomymother.us/trailer/
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 23,000 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:
Branislav Jankic (b.1983) is a Serbian artist, director, and photographer based in New York City. His work has appeared in Interview (RU, DE), GQ (UK), Vogue Homme (Japan), Elle, and Flaunt. Under the tutelage of Gian Paolo Barbieri and Bruce Weber, Jankic draws deeply from his own past as a child of displacement, of addiction, and of rebirth. His first major book of photography, Letter to My Mother (2015) was inspired by his mother’s battle with cancer and addiction. His latest collaboration, Flowers of My Life (2015), a collaboration with Gian Paolo Barbieri, debuted at Milan Fashion Week and has been praised in Vanity Fair (IT), I.D., Women’s Wear Daily, and Love Magazine (UK).