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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Cutters - self harm movie...a good example how an underground archivist works.

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Over the last year I've been in the process of making my photo books into movies as another way to document them and share the material online. Here is an early movie I did of an early book I made. It is a short history and presentation of my artist's book entitled 'Cutters: There is nothing I hate more than myself. '  It is also a good example of how an underground archivist may work. The book / film documents banned material on self harm that Yahoo removed once they acquired Tumblr in 2013. 


I got interested in this subject years ago when a lady told me her friend had to go to the emergency room to get stiches because of a cut. I asked her how she got cut and she said the girl cut herself. I thought to myself, "Jesus, what the hell is wrong with her." So, I looked into it, not by reading about it, but initially by studying the subject in found photography. (I'm one of those guys that does not like books without photos!) Later on after I digested enough photos I looked at a little of their art and writing to round things off with my knowledge search.

I have 80+ websites on WordPress, some up and running, some under construction. But I can't take a chance putting up material like this at WordPress. WordPress has almost never censored my work, other than when I made a post about eBay and they thought it was SPAM. But their rules and many other sites look at self harm as just a step below kiddy porn. And actually, I've had more trouble at the Internet Archive than on WordPress, but the Archive has been good with about 99.9% of whatever I throw at them.

Supposedly my artists' book I made on 'Cutters' is one of the few, if not only pictorial photo books, on this subject in the world. Lots of books on cutting at WorldCat, but nothing that I can see with the range of photos my book has - they are all text.

When you think about it, it would be a very hard subject to shoot  I've read about 2%-3% of the young girls are cutters. So what would an old guy in his 60's be doing knowing thousands of young teen girls in order to be able to find the few cutters among them to photograph. Then he would have to get them to let him photograph them while cutting. Beside ethics, and even if he was successful, what would they say about the old guy in his 60's shooting 14 year old girls nude in the bathtub while they cut themselves?

I bring up this backstory to you to underscore this fact...that as rare as this material is and possibly being the only / few photo books of its kind in the world,  I had a 80%+ rejection rate for donating hand-printed copies of the book to special collection libraries around the world. 


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