They say that the camera never lies — and now the power of photographs is to be used to tell the story of recovering addicts in Dundee.
An innovative project aimed at helping people recovering from substance dependency, which will see them outline their experiences in pictures, is to be launched in the city.
Developing Recovery will give cameras to about 40 people to document what recovery means for them.
Their relatives and carers will also be given cameras to record how addiction affects them.
Once the photographs have been taken, an exhibition will be held in the city next month.
Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, which is behind the idea, will use the mounted prints and the story of the photographs to highlight what recovery means.
Partnership chairman Ken Lynn said: “Using film allows people to be involved in a process, giving them the opportunity to reflect as they decide what images best capture and sum up their own experience of moving into recovery.
“As well as the deeply personal elements of taking pictures of subjects important to them and their recovery journey, this project goes further by offering them the opportunity to tell their own story in a visual and creative way.
“I am looking forward to the exhibition for a chance to see an honest view of recovery through the lens of the people who are actually living it day to day.
“I’m sure it will help to challenge some of the negative preconceptions around recovery and give us hope and inspiration.”
The Rev Robert Calvert, minister at the Steeple Church in the Nethergate where the exhibition will be held, said he was very excited about the project.
He said: “Here in Dundee we see a lot of people struggling to keep their lives together. We know how hard it is for many of them.
“People who are in recovery from substance dependency need to stay positive and that can be very difficult.
“This will be a display of pictures that will be very personal for very many people. However, the project will also be a public demonstration of hope.
“Many people who are struggling often do not stand on a platform or give their stories exposure but hopefully this exhibition will give others hope and encouragement.”
A spokesman said project organisers have sourced 40 “point and shoot” film cameras through friends, relations and the help of Dundee Photographic Society.
He added: “The exhibition will form part of the annual Scottish Recovery Walk, which will be held in Dundee for the first time this year.”
The spokesman said that organisers are still looking for people who are in recovery as well as keen photographers who are recovering from someone else’s dependency to take part.
Launching on August 31 to coincide with World Overdose Prevention Day, the project will conclude with an exhibition of participants’ photographs in the Steeple Church in late September which will run for six months.
Other events include a “Recovery Village” on Magdalen Green, including a marquee which will also highlight participants’ pictures.