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.
Its strange to see all these bits and pieces of life come together and turn into a physical object that one can hold and look at. It’s strange and beautiful.
Autism Stories is a project about the lives of autistic people, about the way they organize their lives, create relationships, learn, and claim their place in the world. My intention is not to turn them into heroes or victims, nor to speak on their behalf. It is not to romanticize autism or, on the contrary, to only show its downsides.
My intention is to portray these people as full human beings, with needs, desires, fears, frustrations, abilities and limitations. People who have a place in this world, even if the world is often reluctant to offer them that place.
These stories about autism have something to say about our capacity and willingness as a society to be inclusive and supportive. About our understanding of normalcy and our willingness to challenge it. About our ability to accept and to accommodate difference rather than trying to normalize or suppress it. About our ability to perceive our shared humanity rather than the weirdness and the difference.
More details about the participants and their stories on the Autism Stories website.
Thank you Adam, Arthur, Clément, Chloé, Christian, Ethan, Giuliano, Lemmy, Louis, Massimo, Matei, and Yannis. This book is for you.