Edition 2022 - Finalist
A photograph of me at age 4. I am standing upright, arms by my side, seemingly well behaved. I am wearing an oversized waistcoat, a style that has stayed with me throughout my life. It was around that time that I was diagnosed with congenital hip dislocation, six months prior to the standardization of hip adjustment treatments for newborns. X-ray No.0-10687. Although my parents never spoke about my condition – a genetic condition that afflicts every one in 1000 infants – I knew that my hip wasn’t exactly like everyone else’s. Heidelberg-Milan-1969. Meetings with doctors and nurses in far-away countries, and sleeping with a gypsum cast, are some of my earliest memories. On my first day of high school, I remember being challenged to go from one classroom to another in less than 5 minutes. As my body matured and my condition evolved, I became even more determined to move at the same speed as my peers in life.
Perhaps it is because of my condition that I rarely call for attention. School dance. With my camera, I have always documented people’s lives, never mine. But with the wisdom of age, I am starting to see things differently. Archival records, x-rays, doctor’s notes that I have meticulously collected over the years have resurfaced into my life, nudging me to turn the camera on them. Through a retrospective exploration of these items, I plan to re-trace my journey with CHD. I read somewhere that the subject is born of the object. These bits of history are as much a part of me, as I am of them. I would like now to tell their story through photography.