Haley Morris-Cafiero


Haley Morris-Cafiero, Course Director, Photography, Ulster University



Haley Morris-Cafiero

Artist Statement: Wait Watchers 

For my series, Wait Watchers, I set up a camera in a public area and photograph the
scene as I perform mundane tasks while strangers pass by me. I then examine the
images to see if any of the passersby had a critical or questioning element in their face
or body language.

I consider my photographs a social experiment and I reverse the
gaze back on to the stranger and place the viewer in the position of being a witness to a
moment in time.

The project is a performative form of street photography.

I place the camera on a tripod and take hundreds of photographs. The resulting images
capture the gazer in a microsecond moment where the shutter, the scene, my actions
and their body language align and are frozen on the frame. I do not know what the
people in my photographs are looking at or reacting to. I present the images to the
world to start a conversation about the gaze and how we use it communicate our
thoughts of others.

Artist Statement: Bully Pulpit 

Below please read an interview with Haley describing The Bully Pulpit from the website Elephant Art:


In my latest photo series, The Bully Pulpit, I investigate the social phenomenon of cyberbullying through the public profiles of people who attempt to bully me. For years, people have been hiding behind their computer screens to bully others to the point where writing criticizing comments is common and celebrated. These cowards use the internet to bully those they find weaker than themselves.

I photograph myself costumed like the people who’ve attempted to bully me. Finding photos online, I recreated their images using wigs, clothing, and simple prosthetics, while small imperfections mirror the fallacy that the internet will shield their identities. Finally, I overlay the parodies with transcripts of the bullying comments, almost as if I were “subtweeting” them.

My inspiration for The Bully Pulpit was the countless numbers of people who wrote mean-spirited comments about me in emails, tweets, Instagram posts, blogs and online comments sections when Wait Watchers was published online and went viral. But instead of responding individually to “deaf ears,” I realize that I can parody the bullies attempts by creating images and publishing them on the internet —the same vehicle used for their attacks—and the images would be seen by millions, and would live again, again, and again.

Haley is inspired by Rosy Martin’s method of Re-enactment Photography


Re-enactment Photography by Rosy Martin

“I’ve got cupboards full of dressing-up clothes that I never wear anymore, and I love to play,” I said. “I’ve got a camera, we could use it,” said Jo. So, the next time we met, we tried on a variety of roles, through dressing up, within the safety and trust of the co-counseling relationship we had already built during the preceding year. We photographed one another as we experimented with inhabiting these roles. Conflicting emotions were brought up in the process, and we used our counseling skills to work through these and find ways to transform them, both visually and psychically. Deep emotions surfaced, both in the photographic sessions and when viewing the photographs we had produced, and we worked through these, using our therapeutic relationship as the containing frame. Quickly, very quickly, we realized that we had discovered a very powerful way of working. Through experimentation and risk-taking, facilitated by the permission we gave one another as co-counselors, and the containment and safety already established in our therapeutic exchange, “re-enactment phototherapy” evolved.”

(excerpt from The performative body: phototherapy & re-enactment, published in Afterimage 2001 copyright Rosy Martin)

Article, Rosy Martin, The Performative Body 


Embodiment and Ownership

by Rosy Martin

“Embodiment and ownership are fundamental to re-enactment phototherapy. The aim is for the clients eventually to own their own histories, their past, their pains, distresses and traumas, previously denied and disavowed…Clients embody the issues they wish to work on, by entering into them through re-enactment, in front of the camera. By putting themselves in the place of re-experiencing that pain in the here and now, and moving into a transformative goal, clients experience a cathartic release…Ultimately they move towards accepting themselves and reintegrating the denied, disavowed parts of themselves, thereby acknowledging the depth and range of who they are…It is about saying the unsayable, seeing the unseeable, facing the unfaceable, confronting shame and by so doing releasing and letting go of the power those ‘secret’ held. By taking the risk to explore the dynamics, for example of power and powerlessness, and taking up the different positions within the polarity a greater range of ‘selves’ is made known to the client. It is a way of making the ‘shadow-side’ visible. No longer is the ‘other’ the depository of all that is split off and disavowed, aspects of the ‘other’ are recognised as within”


Martin R. (2012) Looking and Reflecting: Returning the Gaze, Re-enacting Memories and Imagining the Future through Re-enactment Phototherapy. In: Hogan, S., ed. Revisiting Feminist Approaches to Art Therapy. New York: Berghahn Books, 112-140.

Why Photographs Produced within Reenactment Photography are Useful Therapeutic Tools

by Rosy Martin

“Photographs are paradoxical: both real—they have that physicality as bits of paper—and not real. Photographs are constructed, framed, chosen moments, overdetermined, pulled out of a continuum of possibilities. Yet we invest them with meaning, with notions of representing the ‘truth’, the photographic record is treated as evidence, even proof…So the photograph which provides this objectivity, this view from the outside, can be embraced, with the new wisdom that comes from taking a different perspective. Photography can then be seen as both reflecting and constructing a reality…Maintaining life-long patterns of shame, secrecy and denial is contested by these photographs which mirror back and give form, size, weight and colour to psychic pain and to its history, its source. Externalised and made visible, these aspects can be worked with and reflected upon in the counselling relationship, The photographs may then be seen as transitional objects between inner and outer reality. The phototherapist bears witness to these previously hidden aspects of the selves, offering a non-judgmental positive regard, the phototherapist enables the client to work towards integration of all these parts.”


Martin R. (2012) Looking and Reflecting: Returning the Gaze, Re-enacting Memories and Imagining the Future through Re-enactment Phototherapy. In: Hogan, S., ed. Revisiting Feminist Approaches to Art Therapy. New York: Berghahn Books, 112-140.