What does “bear witness” mean?

1.provide evidence for
2. give testimony in a court of law

from AudioEnglish.net


Bearing Witness

We can all participate as a collective of individuals by telling our stories about accessing healthcare in the US. I am bearing witness by taking as many portraits as I can to public events to declare publicly what has happened to some of the people I paint who could not access healthcare.

YOU can bear witness by taking your stories to your representatives, neighbors, public forums. Speak up. Bring your denials for claims from insurance companies; bankruptcy papers from medical debt; pictures of loved ones who are maimed or dead because they could not access care; notifications of exorbitant rate increases because you got sick and had claims; denials of coverage because you have a pre-existing condition….

BEAR WITNESS to the truth of what is happening to you and your loved ones.


Please send me your stories and videos of bearing witness. t@artassocialinquiry.org

PHOTO GALLERY: My Five Months of Bearing Witness in Washington DC

From January through February 2012 I stood with portraits from the ASI healthcare series and several different signs on the sidewalk in front of the US Supreme Court and US Capitol in Washington DC.

 Why? I had the idea I would bring the portraits about healthcare and the millions they represent to the very people who were going to decide their fates, namely the Justices of the Supreme Court and our representatives in Congress especially those trying to topple the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

When the Supreme Court took up the case of whether some provisions of the ACA were constitutional, I just got the idea to take the portraits out and let the subjects’ voices be heard. I did not know what to expect. Five months of “standing” in all kinds of weather and seasons, I feel I have my finger on the pulse of the healthcare debate gone berserk in this country.

I have started a book about how the experience spawned so many insights about this country, life and myself.  I am also putting together a talk called Portraits to Power which I hope to take to venues large and small.

Here is a photo album by photographer/artist Vivien Francis. It shows what one day of “standing” at the Capitol is like.



6/28/2012 Theresa stands outside the US Supreme Court with the throngs awaiting the court’s decision re: the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. She answers the Tea Party’s chants with a chant of her own. (Thank you to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare for this video.)


10/29/2011 T Takes Art As Social Inquiry to the Coffee Party Rally on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building, Washington D.C.



10/13/2011 From the blog, The Bent Page (starts at 3:24 in video) Interview at Occupy Doylestown


10/6/2011 Bearing Witness at Occupy Philly about Medical Bankruptcy (video from FloodtheDrummer‘s YouTube channel)


10/6/2011 Bearing Witness about Death of Uninsured 23 Year Oldat Occupy Philadelphia


10/8/2011 Bearing Witness about Death of Uninsured Pregnant Youg Woman at Occupy Philadelphia


8/2011 Bearing Witness: Town Meeting with Congressman Fitzpatrick


8/2011 AUDIO Bearing Witness: Town Meeting w/ Congressman Fitzpatrick

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