Connections – Headway and Inma Pavon. Sept 24th, Firkin Crane Cork

I took some photos at this event thinking that I could use one for this blog and maybe share them with some of my classmates.

But I didn’t want to have the flash on in case it disturbed the dancers. So then my exposure was too long and they all came out blurry. So I thought, no, they’re useless.

And then I looked again and I decided to use this one, of Holly, when she came out first on the stage, with her name on those boxes (which I initially imagined as keyboards on a piano for some reason).

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I decided to use it because in a way the haziness of the image is a valid representation of acquired brain injury. The blur, where something is almost but not quite right, could be a visual statement of what people who experience this injury might have to face.

The feeling that they can move, but not just in the right way. That they are themselves, but not really. That their lives and their relationships do continue, but not quite as sharply, and not in the way they used to be.

And I like the idea of Holly being just at the edge of this photo and that, when she received her injury, she probably felt at the edge of her own life. That she was almost out of the picture of her own life, but not quite. That’s she’s still there, her life is still continuing – but not as it had been for sure, that somehow she’s at the margins, not really front and centre.

Those are the letters of her name there on the screen, but they’re somewhat out of sync, out of kilter, out of focus. Like her new brain, like her new body. The floor is solid and strong as it used to be. The screen is still and clear. The camera and its sensor is working fine. But Holly is a blur in the corner, her name is shaky and out of focus.

I also decoded to include a second photo, of the group of five women after the event.

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This was the highlight of the experience for me. Their joy, their pride, and their relief was written all over their faces and it shows in the photo. The flowers, the birthday cake, the attention, the admiration and the love that was showered upon those five brave women. And what it meant to them.

And now, the women are in focus. They are happy. Their smiles are sharp. They’ve done something big.

They are front and centre of their achievement and what it means to them and their families. How this dance performance and what it took to create can help shape their lives into a more crisp and defined and colourful future.

How they can be present and in focus and at the heart of their own lives.

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