I was, I am, I will be

The number of women with breast cancer is growing fast. Where once the age range of people most at risk was between forty and sixty, today the gap has widened to reach girls of eighteen and ladies over eighty. It goes without saying that, in addition to being a health problem, this has also become a social and cultural issue. One in eight women will have breast cancer in their lifetime. It is estimated that in Italy, every day, about a thousand people receive a diagnosis of malignancy.

The photographer decided to use a veil as a guiding thread, a typically feminine whim since the affected part, the breast, is a symbol of femininity. With its transparency and lightness, this fabric allowed her to “play” on the set with her models and (un) veil not only the parts of the body affected by the disease, but also the deep and not always visible scars.

Despite their suffering, both physical and psychological, those who decided to participate in the project did so to celebrate life.

Silvia has learned that the healing process also involves little things. When your hair falls out or you gain weight from medication, taking care of yourself is the key. When you don’t recognize yourself because of your eyebrows disappearing and the expression on your face is changing, you lose your own identity.

Each woman has experienced the path that goes with the disease in a different way: some with determination, some with anger, some have strengthened their emotional and sentimental ties, some have found themselves alone. It is also difficult for family members to experience this situation, there are many couples whose relationships have not survive this test, many men have not been able to bear the weight of so much suffering.

Unexpectedly, all portrayed women said the cancer was a chance. An opportunity to rethink many things, to take care of themselves, to clean up their life, to understand what matters and to finally find the strength and courage to make a dream come true.

Some have met extraordinary doctors who followed them and did not make them feel alone, while many were treated as numbers to which a protocol had to be applied identical to that of all the others.

But nobody should be treated like a number; future doctors must be taught that we do not only intervene on a symptom, but that we must take care of the body, psyche and soul of patients.

And listening is essential.

Silvia Amodio (Milan, 1968) graduated in philosophy with an experimental thesis carried out in Hawaii on the linguistic skills of dolphins. Journalist, photographer and documentarian has made expressive choices that combine ethics and aesthetics to address complex issues such as the spread of AIDS in South Africa, clerical pedophilia, child laborers in Peru, albinism, malnutrition in Burkina Faso and cancer. She is often invited to talk at conferences and television and radio broadcasts. For the past 10 years she has been promoting HumanDog, an itinerant project that investigates the relationship between dogs and their owners, analysing the issue from a zoo-anthropological point of view. She has been covering the position of communication consultant for Coop for 15 years in the field of charity and social projects. Silvia asserted herself within the authorial photography field thanks to numerous exhibitions in galleries and institutional body in Italy, the United States, France, England, Holland. In 2008 a work taken from the Volti Positivi project was the only Italian one selected at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize organized by the National Portrait Gallery in London. In 2012 she was awarded the Creativity-Nettuno Photo Festival Award and the City of Benevento Award for photography. In 2018 she received the Camomilla award for her social commitment.

She has published the following books: Volti Positivi (2007), Tutti i colori del bianco (2012) Nessun uomo è un’isola (2012), L’Aquila riflessa (2012), Deo Gratias (2014), HumanDog, le nuove coppie (2014), AdottaMI (2015), HumanDog Alimenta l’Amore (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021), Io ero, sono, sarò (2018). She has also created numerous calendars for charity purposes. She has made the documentaries Volti Positivi (2007), I bambini del Manthoc (2012), Deo Gratias (2014), Cara Sorella (2021) and several short films. She is included in the book and in the video Parlando con voi, incontri con fotografe italiane by the Association of Italian professional photographers. The 3M Foundation acquired the exhibit titled l’Arte del Ritratto for its collection, while the Mandela Forum in Florence permanently hosts the Volti Positivi exhibition.

This project was realized by Silvia Amodio with the support of Coop Lombardia.

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Exhibitions 2021

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Exhibitions 2021

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