Fotofest Hawke’s Bay 2023: ‘Confronting’ male sexual abuse survivor photos on display

“Confronting”. That’s how Tim Whaitiri Henderson, of Dove Hawke’s Bay, describes the “Hopeful Horizons” exhibition that will be showcased as part of the 2023 Fotofest in Hawke’s Bay.

He recalls people breaking down in tears when they first saw the faces that lined gallery walls in Taranaki, and now he hopes the exhibit will help spread awareness of the support that’s available in Hawke’s Bay and help normalise what is often a very hard conversation.

“Hopeful Horizons” shares stories of courage, determination, and resilience of men from across Aotearoa – and the world – who have suffered sexual abuse.

It is spearheaded by the Bristlecone Project, a worldwide movement aimed at helping raise awareness of male sexual abuse survivors.

Men tell their individual stories openly and honestly. They are stories of suffering but also of triumph, healing and hope.

For the most part, that’s what Dove and Whaitiri Henderson are all about.

“It’s about normalising the conversation but ensuring the individual’s integrity is maintained,” he said.

Whaitiri Henderson has been in his role as male survivors co-ordinator for Dove for about five months. He’s worked with Fotofest organisers to help bring the powerful exhibition to Hawke’s Bay.

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