Photography is, without a doubt, a form of therapy and self-expression for many creatives. We take photographs to document our own ideas, visions, dreams, perspectives, and journeys. For New York City photographer artist and bestselling author Damien Echols, photography became another spiritual component in his journey toward healing from extreme post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Damien Echols considers New York City his “sacred space” which is something we’d most likely hear from anyone who has fallen in love with the city. However, there’s a more compelling reason behind his reverence for the city. In the spring of 2017, soon after his 18 years of living as an innocent man on death row, Damien moved to New York City and began riding a bike around its streets. Eventually, he also started photographing the places and moments he found inspirational, alongside his efforts to be in the moment and heal himself from the traumatic memories of prison and death row.
People who have been following his NYC snapshots on Instagram soon began asking for a photo book. So began his dream to put together LIVING FEROCIOUSLY: a project of “magick, healing, and urban shamanism” which will culminate in a photobook in Autumn 2018, if his Kickstarter campaign is successful. Damien speaks about how the project came about in the video below:
“When we think of sacred places, holy sites, we think of more rural environments. You know, places like forests or beaches,” he muses. “For some reason, we’ve arrived at this conclusion that cities are somehow less sacred or less holy than more rural environments. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. Either everything in every place is made out of the same divine substance or nothing is.”
“For me, this book is about healing; it’s about me immersing myself, baptizing myself in the energy of the city.”
If this sounds like a project you’d like to support, head to Damien’s Kickstarter page to back this campaign and help Damien realize his vision for a photo book on LIVING FEROCIOUSLY in New York City.