Lifelines

Our society attaches great value to old objects, antiques are lovingly tended and admired. Old people however are shipped off to old age homes, where they become invisible. We appreciate the marks of age and the patina of old furniture, but for the elderly  wrinkles, and signs of age are considered ugly.

Retirement for many is not only the end of the job but also the end of their identity and usefulness. Old people have to face the difficulties of limited mobility, sickness, and loss of independence. They must cope with the loneliness caused by death and separation. We try and keep these realities at bay. Our society is obsessed with youth,  we fuel the economy buying products that claim to put off the inevitable, and by separating old people from the rest we don’t have to see where we are headed.

This project is a response to these issues and the personal loss of my dear neighbours, Jean and Mimi now living in a nursing home. I hope to raise these issues through the photographs.

Lifelines are the lines of the hand, and the hands of the residents of this rural community tell many stories. clearly the hands that have laboured the earth show a different history than those of an office worker. The ninety year old hands of the residents contain all the history of a life, we must just take the time to decipher it.

The project so far has been a great success, the residents have joined in and look forward to the photo sessions where we  talk and Celine Rouquairol a journalist from the local radio station records the oral histories. The second part of the project, Inside Out Lacaune started April 4. After gaining trust with photographs of their hands the residents now feel ready to literally ‘face’ the world. Their portraits and those the jr; high school students will be pasted around the village.

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