“Monia”

 

National preview

 

“She stands still, holding her breath. She keeps searching with her eyes, anxious at what she might miss. I move closer. Maybe I’ll understand what she is looking at.

I’ve been doing this since we were kids. I stare at my sister while she stands still, holding time still. I keep looking – there is an undercurrent, a tidal force drawing her nearer every thing she sees.

She touches them uncertain, as if it were always a first time. Hesitating, marveling. Might she think that aiming is better than reaching? That touching is not the same as the desire to touch? That some are best left alone? Maybe this is why she loves light, and water, and shadows. She keeps reaching out to them. Everything that might escape – she wants to touch that. I keep looking – she is there, yet gone. And she carried me away with her.”

This work is a work in progress; it started six years ago, in silence. The photographs came first, before any other project, and before the story, which they belong to. They are the result of an experience and the desire to tell it.

Monia is disabled since birth. She lives in habits, simple gestures and long moments without words or actions. A world away from everything else, solitary, confined, but not empty, where time is made up of moments, a present that does not need to project into the future.

Photographing her is an act of knowledge and research. It is a way to understand her, wondering what she thinks and what she wants. From life, from me. Soon it won’t just be the approach through photography, which will bring me to her, to remember the gestures and glances with which she seems to touch and see the world. One day she will be part of my life, she will have to deal with me, every day, with the way I see her and love her. Telling her story and her life is the first step for one to enter the life of the other, with both the joy and the difficulty of the encounter.