For over two years, celebrated British photographer Harry Borden interviewed and documented a diverse cohort of almost 50 individuals who experienced the impact of divorce, including his teenage son. The result is On Divorce, his newest book published in collaboration with The School of Life. This collection of intimate stories and striking images reveals how endings can herald a new start. Harry’s reflections on the dissolution of his own marriage– along with testimony from 47 portrait sitters – challenge any lingering judgment, taboo, and shame surrounding divorce.
At this event, Harry will continue conversations that he initiated with a select group of subjects he profiled in the book. Each guest will describe their unique pathway towards compassion, empathy, curiosity, self-reflection, and growth: the founder of an advocacy group supporting the emotional safety of men; a marriage counselor who went on to a successful corporate and coaching career after separating from her alcoholic husband; and an artist who ended a long-term heterosexual relationship, found love with her current same-sex partner, and has co-created a loving environment for her daughter involving all three parents.
Harry Borden is one of the UK’s finest portrait photographers. His work has appeared in many of the world’s foremost publications, including The New Yorker, Vogue and Time. Borden was a World Press Photo prize winner in 1997 and 1999, subsequently participating as a jury member for the awards in 2010 and 2011. He had his first solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2005, with the institution currently holding over 100 of his prints in its permanent collection. In 2014, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.
In 2017, his book, Survivor: A portrait of the survivors of the Holocaust, was published by Octopus. Described by Martin Parr as “something really to behold…”, and by Alain de Botton as “A masterpiece and deeply moving”, it was also judged one of the 10 best photography books of 2018 by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation. Borden’s second book, Single Dad, came out in 2021. His third, On Divorce, was released by The School of Life in 2023.
After twenty successful years in sales, business development, training and coaching, Sarah established SA:SI Strategic Intervention because she had seen so many times the impact a relationship in trauma has on every aspect of a person’s life. In her own life, Sarah experienced a whirlwind romance only later discovering her former husband was a functioning alcoholic, then an un-functioning alcoholic who put her life and her children’s lives in danger.
Sarah has developed her own unique blend of modalities which combine conventional counseling dealing with present relationship problems, along with the latest techniques in overcoming trauma, sexual and emotional abuse, abandonment, shame and betrayal from past relationships, so they no longer subconsciously impact and sabotage their present lives and relationships. She lectures and counsels widely.
Anu emerged from a 13-year relationship with a man, unexpectedly finding love with a woman, and underwent a significant transformation. Transitioning from over a decade-long role as a stay-at-home parent, she now serves as a project manager for a national professional development program for emerging artists. This shift has brought about profound changes in every aspect of her life, with the most intriguing aspect being the explanation of her unconventional living arrangement. Addressing questions like "You still live with your ex?" and "Do you all get along?" reveals the complexity of her journey. Anu prioritizes her daughter in all decisions, and amidst the current situation, she has created a loving environment with three devoted parents. As an artist, these experiences have prompted her to embrace a slower pace, allowing for a deeper engagement with the creative process, particularly exploring themes of identity and relationships.
After a fairly tough time with his divorce and subsequently looking after his son as the primary carer, Nav founded Dads Unlimited in the UK. He wants to make life easier for fathers in his situation, and provide the advice, support and community he never had. His experience straddles all facets of separation from court and legal proceedings, police assistance, social services, education, health, and youth advocacy.
Nav brings to Dads Unlimited his vision, his values and a wealth of experience from having helped set up the Independent Police Complaints Commission; Senior positions from the NHS Chief Executive Scheme, as well as a host of strategic, tactical and operational roles across government, including the House of Commons, House of Lords and the Home Office.
Photos: Harry Borden
About Reimagine and the Series "Honeymoon & Heartbreak: The Life Cycle of Relationships"
Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and–at our own pace– actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth. www.letsreimagine.org
Romantic and sexual relationships, in all their diversity and complexity, encompass a spectrum of experiences - passionate to contentious, empty to fulfilling, as well as harmful to healthy. If and when these partnerships end, we often see breaking up as a failure. What if we reframe those endings as gateways to self-discovery, rebirth, and transformation?
In this three-part series, speakers include a marriage and family therapist, a breakup coach and entrepreneur, an advocate for divorced fathers, and a world-renowned portrait photographer. With fresh and unconventional perspectives, they will share experiences of grief and loss that developed into pathways for healing, creativity, service, and advocacy.
Topics include the following:
- How do we navigate grief associated with breakups?
- How can we use relationship endings as catalysts for emotional and financial empowerment?
- How do children experience both loss AND resilience after their parents’ divorce?
- In what ways can mindfulness, spirituality, and creativity assist in setting boundaries, healing relationships, or deciding to end them?
- What does it mean to truly love one another?