In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love. We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.
The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.
As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.
Krystal in Argentina
Stepping into the city of Buenos Aires you would be surprised to realize you are in South America. The city has a distinctly European vibe due to Argentina’s history of settlement by predominantly Spanish and Italian immigrants during the colonial era. Upscale storefronts dot the streets amid gelaterias and classical architecture. Beyond the surface though, the city is filled with countless tales of healing, restoration and resiliency.
In July of 2017, I travelled to Argentina as part of an art therapy internship with my program at NYU. Already devoted to Print the Love’s mission as a Board Member, I applied to Supply the Love while in Argentina. At first I envisioned supplying the love to individuals in Buenos Aires apart from my internship; however, it quickly became apparent that supplying the love could become an integral component of the healing and empowerment connected to our art therapy sessions.
Lucy* arrived in Argentina with her brother and naught else to her name. After her home country was ravaged by war, peace emerged from the ashes. She imagined her family could begin to thrive once more. Not one year later, the terrible scourge of Ebola killed her mother and father and her and her brother fled once more, not from the terror of human violence but from the dread of the terrible fate that could await them from the disease. When they arrived in Buenos Aires they had no pictures, no memories to hold from their childhood and no money to purchase any sort of pictures of their present together.
They eagerly engaged in art therapy over the course of the three weeks, exploring themes of grief, identity and resilience as they processed their pasts and struggled to make a way in their presents despite the barriers of language, racism and pending work status. One of the core concepts in art therapy is that of the “transitional object.” The concept developed from Donald Winnicott’s work with children in the 1950’s when he discovered that children learn to self-soothe apart from their caregivers through the use of a transitional object like a blanket or stuffed animal that reminds them of the constancy and security of the caregivers. The same concept can hold true when individuals are able to remind themselves of safe spaces and joy by looking at mementos from those times.
After three weeks of working together, the clients created an art exhibition of the work that they had made. They invited members of their community, also in flux, to the exhibition and were surprised by Supply the Love. We showered love on each individual through the gift of an instant photograph that they could return to to remember the healing journey and community they had experienced. Lucy summed it up the best at the end when she said, “I was a seed, all burned up and dried out, but the fire did not kill me. Now I am being planted and watered by love.”
Thank you, Supply the Love, for helping Lucy feel loved, valued and celebrated even in the middle of life’s difficult trials. With the help of others from my program, we were able to give forty photographs away to refugees, asylum seekers, developmentally delayed adults and terminally-ill cancer patients from undervalued and ignored communities in the city of Buenos Aires.
*Name changed to protect client privacy