“Life Force”

Best project “Call for Entry” 2018

Forgetting can become a silent weapon of contempt and discrimination. Every human being needs a bond of love and support to develop healthily. However, society has often shown that stigma, prejudice and forgetting are often the most common forms of a person with a disability.

Jorge is 37 years old and since birth, he has been looked down on and opinions towards his body that stigmatizes, reject and even condemn to death. With only a few weeks of life both the doctor who brought him to the world and his own family environment, they told his mother that it was better if he let the child die because he would still be unable to survive in this world by himself given his condition.

Jorge was born with phocomelia, that is, a congenital malformation affecting both his upper and lower limbs. One year before his birth, her mother had a serious infection and was treated with a thalidomide-based drug.

In the mid-1950s, the same drug caused thousands of babies being born with congenital malformations around the world. It was prescribed by medical specialists as anti-nausea and over-the-counter sedative for pregnant women. It was mistakenly considered harmless. These regrettable events highlighted the teratogenic effect of the drug and, despite thousands of complaints, thalidomide continued to circulate for several decades without any type of pharmacovigilance sanitary control of the patient. This was the case of Jorge.

My documentary photographic project seeks to highlight the reparative force of desire and the bonds of love beyond the social and aberrant injustices that threaten life itself. This project also seeks to break with the preconceived ideas and disapproving looks of many sectors of society called “normal” about the possibility of a person with a disability to develop a full and complete life in all its aspects.

Jorge is married to Vero. She has mielomeningocele, which affects her ability to walk and had to endure several surgeries to keep her spine erect. They fell in love 8 years ago and decided to start a family. They have a little five-year-old daughter named Ángeles.

Unconditional support, accepting each other, and tolerance are the pillars that allow them to stay strong and keep going. One of Jorge’s dreams is to become a human rights lawyer. That is why he is finishing his high school studies to got to law school.

Sadly and unfairly they receive very little economic support from the Argentine state.

My objective through these images: to provoke thought on two levels, on the one hand to make highlight and remember that there are forgotten victims as a consequence of the great industrial monopolies and on the other hand to focus on that genuine bond of deep recognition of the other through love, perhaps seeking to illuminate from the simplicity and authenticity of human relations, that which belongs to the order of the elemental so that our society is constituted in equality of rights.