I’m not afraid

Today cancer is the second cause of death after cardiovascular pathologies. Every year in Italy over 363.000 new cancer diseases are diagnosed, therefore this can be esteemed as one of the worst epidemics in human history.

The protagonists of this project are ordinary women, each one fighting her own fight with cancer.

Each woman is portrayed through a mirror, while she looks at herself in a looking glass. They are putting on makeup or fixing their hair, in a daily routine shaken but not destroyed by their illness. This project in fact has been made in collaboration with APEO (Associazione Professionale di Estetica Oncologica – Professional Association of Oncological Cosmetology), which had the support and approval of Prof. Umberto Veronesi, the world known Italian oncologist, physician, scientist and politician.

Veronesi said that ‘it is easier to remove cancer from one’s body that from one’s mind’ and the challenge of an oncological cosmetologist is to help the patient to go through this huge physical metamorphosis that has a very strong impact on her psyche, in order to take on her fight with all the strength, life and hope she is capable of.

The aim of this process is to help the patient to accept herself, arising a strong sense of revival. Through this process of revolution, comprehension and self-acceptance the patient can accept and love her new self, looking in the mirror without the urge to look away, but actually staring at her own image. She can now understand that through that mirror she can find the deep essence of the woman she has always been, a strong and aware woman renewed in the experiences that made her who she is now.

In my pictures you can see the glare of the cruel disease that bent the body and the mind of these women. Still, looking at themselves in a mirror is now for them a joyful experience. Paola plays with her daughter Alessia, in a moment of precious light heartedness that helped the child to accept her new bald mother. Giada who is young, too young to go through all this. Maria, fragile and majestic, like a Madonna. And Carmela, who decides to cut her hair short right in front of the mirror just before a new chemotherapy cycle, in a picture that is even more precious now, also for her beloved ones, since she has passed away.

Taking care of oneself and compromise with one’s new image is a trick to get out of the anxiety abyss, out of the strings of a situation in which the patient is just a defenseless victim of an aggressive disease. The patient can now stay grounded, take care of herself and of the little things that constitute her life, starting from her body. Hair, lipstick, skin. The image that we have of ourselves and that walks along with us in life. Whatever this life is.