It’s the last day of the year. I want to take a moment to make sense of what happened with my photo project. I started my Autism Stories project in January 2023. My first visit to my first participant was on the 21st. I am writing this post almost one year later.
My photo project explores the lives of people with autism and of those around them: family, friends, therapists. It looks at the relations between the persons with autism, those supporting them, and society at large.
On 8 December 2023 I was present at Université Saint Louis in Brussels for the launch of my photobook Autism Stories.
The book is the result of my work so far with 12 persons with autism and their families. Behind every face there’s a whole story. A life. A way of being that is unlike any other and that will only happen once.
We say that somebody sees the world in black and white when they seem to be lacking nuance and attention to detail and specificity.
But there’s a whole world of shades between black and white. A spectrum of nuances and possibilities. And often it’s precisely because we restrict ourselves to black and white that we can better express visually what is unique, interesting, or unusual about our subject.
It’s a creative freedom that is found precisely by working with constraints.
In the last few years I found myself spending large parts of my holidays in places that were very close to country borders. It didn’t start as a plan but I suspect that, at some point, the decision to plan holidays in border areas has turned into a conscious choice. There is something about borders that draws be back again and again, some personal meaning that calls to be explored and unpacked.
In January 2023 I started a photo project focusing on the lives of people with autism and their families and friends. I have worked with 11 families who were kind enough to share their joys, problems, hopes and worries with me. I have worked with children, adolescents, and adults with autism.