Friday, December 9, 2016

Post Election Subway Therapy

I went to the Union Square subway station late thursday evening to finish a roll of film I started, making photos with Tony Alva last month. I wanted to finish the roll by making pictures of the mosaic of "post-it" notes on some of the walls expressing peoples frustration and other things regarding the 2016 Presidential election.

Afterwords I borrowed a friends iPhone and made this clip and some still images too.

SUBWAY THERAPY from Burning Flags Press on Vimeo.

these words below from:

Channeling the Fire

Right now, people are overflowing with fire. That fire can do amazing things, but we need to make sure we are directing it so it can have the best effect. Sometimes we are burning so hot we end up burning our friends, our family, and bridges we will need to work together as a world community in the future. Don't talk at each other. Talk with each other.

Follow the project on Instagram and Facebook @subwaytherapy!

When people are overflowing with emotion, help channel their energy into something good.

Subway Therapy is about making people smile, laugh, and feel less stress. I believe people grow and learn through dynamic conversation.

For the last several years I imagined going outside with a table and chairs to talk to people. I don't know why, but it was always something I wanted to do. What got me thinking in this specific direction was the concept of absolution. How do people feel better when they feel bad? There are so many people walking around with extra emotional weight. I am very lucky to have family and friends that help me process events that happen in my life, but what if someone doesn't have a family to turn to or friends to support them? What if they don't have a community to be a part of, or access to therapy? This is a complicated problem with no clear solution.

Nine months ago, I sat with a book people could write their secrets in, and I had a little sign that said Secret Keeper. More often than not, people would just talk to me instead of writing something down. It got pretty common to hear, "I feel so much better! This is great... like therapy." I heard it enough that it stuck and six months ago, Subway Therapy was born. Lately, the project has evolved and I have been using sticky notes to give people an opportunity to transform their stress into something beautiful.

Keep in mind, I am not a licensed therapist. I am not a therapist of any kind. I have no obligation to keep what I hear confidential. I cannot provide professional advice, but I like to listen and when asked I give personal advice from my experience.

I look forward to our conversation,

Matthew "Levee" Chavez


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