By Szász Lilla
DISEASE: Crohn’s Disease
FORMAT: Color Negative
The patient stands on a hill, half-naked, throwing his head back and opening his arms wide. His half-naked torso reveals the bag which has been fixed to his abdominal wall and which is the only visible sign of his disease. However his position and movement, as he is standing emancipated in the sunlight, suggest not shame but a sense of freedom. The natural landscape and the seemingly endless horizon in the background further deepen the feeling of self-acceptance and honest revelation of the self.
“A physician diagnosed my disease when I was 18 years old. He told me that I had an incurable but not fatal disease which could be managed. At the time I thought the doctor alone would only be in charge of my cure. I used my disease as a shield, behind which I could hide and which was a good excuse to feel pity for myself. But a recent turning point in my relationship made me realize that I should accept myself with my imperfection and inner insecurity in order to live a complete life.”
‘Perspectives – Art, Inflammation and Me’ is an initiative that brings together more than 200 artists with patients in more than 40 countries. Together, they have created a series of paintings, sculptures, photos and other artistic expressions that vividly depict — and help others understand — the impact of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). Inspired by patients’ stories, independent artists and students from a number of art universities created each piece to help more people better understand the burdens associated with some of these chronic and debilitating conditions. In addition to independent artists from all parts of the world, students from more than 15 universities coordinated by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Universitat Politecnica de Valencia) were able to add their “Perspectives.”
Select a thumbnail to see an International image and story.
More than 100 unique artistic expressions from ‘Perspectives – Art, Inflammation and Me’ debuted at the 9th Congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) in Copenhagen, Denmark February 20, 2014, generously supported by AbbVie.