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it feels like project

The project that portrays invisible illness's on screen like never before through Gabriela's way of illustrating pain through metaphors.

By: Fela M'tima



A few weeks ago I woke up in agonizing pain. My boyfriend turned his sleepy head to mine and said, "Explain it." I told him, "My body feels like it's made of glass and each part has been broken, shattered."

Let me take you back to 6 months ago, I had met a woman online named Gabriela Leskur. Within just minutes of chatting with her, she told me about an art project she was working on. She explained that she wanted to show metaphors of invisible illness's through the art form of video. Something so hidden to the world, she wanted to put it on the "main screen" sort of speak. I was instantly excited and knew I wanted to do anything to be apart of it. I wanted to share her ideas and plans with the Endometriosis community and through Endotwins, I was able to do that. I interviewed her in Fall of 2016 which also gave women a way to reach out to her, as she was gathering metaphors for potential videos. 

Now, present day, her project has really come alive. The project is called, "it feels like project" and it's doing what no one else is doing. It's showing something invisible to the eye. It's encapsulating the raw and piercing reality of living with chronic pain. Just as she states on her site, "This project utilizes the power of the phrase ‘it feels like’ to further general public appreciation for the severity of invisible conditions and their accompanying pain through video art enactments."

I watched the three videos on her website (Depression, Cystic Fibrosis, and OCD) and felt a huge spectrum of emotions. In these haunting videos, real life horror is portrayed by Gabriela, in only a few minutes. The horror of these invisible illnesses leave chills and a mark even on those who are not affected. Watching them made me think back to that morning waking up as a pile of broken glass and how explaining it in that metaphor was the only way I could explain a pain that deep. I also went back to how I felt when I first heard about this project, and how I felt excited, giddy almost. How exciting that someone was able to recreate pain I experienced each day? How beautiful to be understood when you live under a dark blanket of invisible illness?

Gabriella Leskur has started a movement that I am beyond thrilled to be apart of and to share to those suffering, and to those that can't see our pain. These art pieces might be our only key into seeing what living with these diseases is like and therefor we should all turn the key, look inside, and explore the pain within ourselves and the pain of the people we love.

To be apart of It Feels Like Project, go to Gabriella's contact portion of her website to submit metaphors.

And to watch her videos, please go here.