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Development   /  Yemi Penn

Do We Choose the Experience Our Trauma Teaches Us?

Do we experience trauma to become the people we are meant to become?

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Yemi Penn

  • PRODUCER Taryn Brumfitt

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

When Yemi Penn realises her unresolved childhood trauma is affecting her ability to parent her own daughter, it catalyses her mission for healing and a deep dive into exploring traditional and non-traditional modalities. Wanting to confront her uncle who sexually abused her at the age of seven, Yemi travels back to Lagos, Nigeria. While there, she also sets out to speak to elders to understand her culture’s taboo around sexual abuse and its traditional ways of healing. She then revisits The UK and Japan, places which had held the allure of providing some escape for her as a traumatised young woman. But instead, became scenes for more painful experiences: broken relationships and a short failed marriage to a man she met online. Alongside the work of facing her past, Yemi speaks to psychologists, psychotherapists, alternative healers and those who have thrived after trauma. She starts to see that it’s possible to transmute pain into power. What would happen if we all did the work?

In this feature length documentary we also speak to the war veteran who struggled to assimilate back into civilian life, the cancer patient who has survived death numerous times and to the descendant who is still dealing with the aftermath, coming from a stolen generation.

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0.46% funded
  • $250,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $1,150.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • September 2021

    PROJECT ENDS
  • 3

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Donations

Mim Jenkinson $100.00
Dan Harte $50.00
Peace Mitchell & Katy Garner $1,000.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Sixty-five percent of Australians, 70% of adult Americans and 1 in 3 adults in England have experienced trauma. The world is being run by traumatised unhealed adults.
Most of this trauma is unresolved and being recycled and transmitted through generations. Its myriad of effects range from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, to alcohol and drug use and can wreak havoc on an individual’s life, relationships and generational lines. There is immense power in undergoing healing. Some are in denial, others are afraid to seek help while others simply don’t have access. Trauma that is acknowledged, addressed and healed can transform into a powerful agent of positive change for the individual and those around them.
In the documentary Yemi Penn shares her story of this process of alchemy. It is a similar process that Grace Tame from Tasmania harnessed. This film seeks to catalyse the creation of empowered survivors of any type of trauma.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

“What if the healing of our greatest tragedy, our deepest suffering, ends up being the greatest gift to humanity?”
We want to see a world where “getting help” is the norm, where those who have experienced trauma feel safe to talk about it, motivated to face and heal it. Where there is a knowing of the positive impact this courageous process can have on themselves, their intimate relationships and their communities.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

Short-term outcomes: A shift in perspective about trauma: Moving from shame and avoidance to an awareness that there is benefit in acknowledging and resolving your trauma, no matter how big or small you think it is. An understanding that the level / size of someone’s trauma does not directly co-relate to the impact it has on their life.
Medium-term outcomes: People affected by trauma seek support from the appropriate service and access different methods of healing. Government and non Government agencies will begin to see a shift in people they support, calling for policies and funding to be re-directed.
Long-term outcomes: The broader societal change the documentary intends to affect is shifting the world from a ‘reactive’ environment to a ‘proactive’ one. The continued conversation and safe spaces will keep the catalyst for change going, worldwide, which ultimately will impact progression on other worldly matters such as climate change, racism, equality, equity etc.

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The documentary will be filled with resources to help people access trauma specific support services: Websites and phone numbers for support services will be shown at the end of the film, in accordance to the screening location. We will partner with organisations that offer support around the trauma events covered in the documentary, i.e. Child sexual abuse, War, Cancer, Stolen Generations. Social media strategies and campaigns will be planned to ensure community engagement, which is an excellent way to connect and instigate change.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

The film’s advisors include mental health and wellness professionals that are actively engaged in helping people transmute their pain. These advisors that we have a relationship with include but are not limited to:
Avanti Singh: Psychologist, Meditation Instructor, Chopra Certified Instructor
Dr. Paul Pusey: Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
Faith Agugu: Psychotherapist
Gumrang Yu: Energy healer, Acunpurist, Herbalist and Reflexogist
Jennifer Nurick: Psychotherapist and Energy Healer
Dr. Moshen Mirzaie: Child Youth and Family Psychiatrist

In addition, the film will partner with other groups such as Reach Out, an organisation that champions access to wider mental health support. FASTT, the forum for Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma. All partnership contact details will be featured at the end of the documentary with a representative forming part of the panel during the Q & A segment that follows special screenings of the film.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

At the end of the film, audience members will be reflecting on their own unresolved trauma and be motivated to take action towards acknowledging, healing and finding meaning.

The longer term intention is to build foundations worldwide, starting in Australia, the U.S, U.K and Africa.

The individual call to action is:

1. to use self-reflection and self-awareness to acknowledge their trauma
2. To engage and/or enlist the service of a mental health care provider, therapist or healer
3. To be able to envision the possibility of changing the internal narrative of their experience from negative to positive by reflecting on how the experience has or could create some positive impact in themselves and the immediate community around them.
4. Make a donation to the foundation to support ongoing work in this space and to support those with less means and privilege.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

The film’s call to action is for people to access healing. Therefore, the indicator for success will be the numbers of people who seek support after viewing the film. This data will be garnered by sending a survey to people who have attended registration-required screenings of the film, one month after viewing. The survey will ask about what (if any) services were sought after the film.
Another indicator for success will be comments and reviews of the film. Comments on the Youtube page of the film’s pilot, revealed how viewers were impacted by the story and the mindset shift and /or action they were influenced to take as a result of watching.

Through our partnership with mental health bodies, we will monitor whether there has been a spike in accessing their services, providing support where possible.