One way in which we make sense of our experience is by finding patterns in it—connections, coincidences, repetitions. Whether the pattern exists in any objective sense doesn’t matter very much: it becomes part of the story we tell ourselves about our lives. It’s meaningful because we make it so.
A few days after writing the last post—about André Arends’ film, Nightwalking—I met the photographer Dragi Nedelchevski at the opening of his exhibition Life in a Box, in Sarajevo. Dragi lives in Tetovo (Macedonia) and has a number of exhibitions and awards to his credit. Life in a Box is his most personal work yet, in which he documents the life of his own family, and particularly that of his son Mane, who has cerebral paralysis. It is a beautiful and moving work of contemporary photography.
It seemed very fitting to encounter Dragi’s work so soon after Nightwalking. The conversations prompted by both have been very rewarding. The film’s focus is on individuals, separate from the context of their lives: it is concerned with existential rather than social questions.
Dragi Nedelchevski’s photo-essay is like the other side of the coin, where Mane’s experience is framed by those who love and care for him. Seen in succession, they created an intimate dialogue for me—obviously unintended but not less meaningful for that. So I’ve added a link to the Life in a Box website, for anyone who has enjoyed Nightwalking.
Yes indeed a beautiful ‘other side of the coin’, thank you so much.
I would like to take the opportunity to forward a link to the body of work made by the Canadian photographer Natalie Schönfeld (http://www.natalieschonfeld.com/). She was one of the inspirators of the Nightwalking project and we became close friends ever since. Please have a look at ‘Legally Deafblind’
Thanks for pointing me towards Natalie Schönfeld’s work. There is some beautiful and powerful work, for instance the photo-essay on the child-mother in Venezuela. It also makes me wonder about the importance and nature of witnessing—rather than simply observing—in a world saturated by media information.