Mirrorless is Carla Cantore first photobook. All photos were taken in the “G. Gioia” Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, located in Chiaromonte (PZ) in Basilicata region, Italy.
Carla Cantore spent six months in the center, following peolple affected by eating disorders without hurting their feelings nor betraying their trust. Her photos have allowed the patients to establish new relationships with their body, the outer space and the others.
Here’s what Carla said about her project
Mirrorless is a photographic journey to remember: who I was, who I am and who I can become.
I lived for six months with young people who suffered from eating disorders, following them from their admission to the recovery clinic until their discharge. I encountered the pain of girls and boys removed from the daily life of young people of their age, the chance to attend school, to go on a trip, to spend Christmas with the family, the possibility of a simply staying with their family. I also encountered the pain of their mothers, not being able to stay in the rehabilitation center, they cannot be at their side and so they are forced to live with the constant fear that they may never get out, survive. They are alone, without the comprehension and support of friends and family, often overwhelmed by the expectations of a speedy recovery commonly placed on the sick.
However, during this long journey, and to my surprise, I also encountered something else; joy. Listening to their stories of ordinary, almost trivial life, I saw how life can become something extraordinary for the simple fact that it has been lived, faced with courage and thus changed. I saw in these guys a strength and a determination in making contact with their discomfort, putting your hands in their drama, out of the ordinary: across fear and hope, tears and smiles, denial and acceptance. I saw them accept embraces, hope and smiles.
In this flow of life that seems to slip into oblivion, I felt the need to capture with my camera something special.
An underground pain, noticeable albeit invisible, for that not to appear, but for that concealment in a constant hiding, in that “do not look at me please, I want to disappear” I caught an inverted request. In the deafening silence, I heard an imploded and all interior cry: “LOVE ME” instead, “LOOK AT ME” instead, “I AM HERE, I EXIST” and, precisely in this removal of myself from life, I am asking for life.
Recognise me not for what I have done or for my results, but simply because I exist, I am a human being just like you.