Humans are the only living beings who are aware of the finality of life. We are bound to accept this fact with total vulnerability. How can the transient nature of our personality be acknowledged in an individualistic society? Three years ago, I set out to find an answer to this question in my photo series.
When I started to work on the project, my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia. If our personality completely disappears at the moment of our death, then we can think of dementia as that frozen moment in which, day after day, we slowly drift away from ourselves. Her disease carries within it the starting point of my fears.
Ever so slowly, the original project turned into a collaborative effort with her. Photography and the time spent together helped us reconnect with each other in a new way. The last time I felt such an intense connection with my grandmother was when I was a child and she used to distract me with made-up stories during boring bus trips. Now she was the one in the role of a child, and I took her to places where one would not normally take a grandmother who is slow to move and suffers from dementia. These trips had a great impact on her and perhaps helped delay some of the worse symptoms of dementia.
While I’m watching my grandmother change both mentally and physically, I’m aiming to embrace acceptance, striving to experience the existing order in the world, in which the transience of life also plays a part.
All images ©Balazs Turos