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Say cheese

Say cheese ! Say ba-na-na ! Look at the birdie ! There are many ways people use to tell someone to get ready for photography. Even though many like to photograph things other than people. In my case I like the feeling I get when I choose the photo I am going to take. And what it represents to me, as well as what it conveys to the beholder. As my son usually says - If his father wasn't a psychologist he would be a photographer, wouldn't he?


But what does autism have to do with photography? Actually, autism has to do with everything, if you haven't realised that yet. But I'm here to tell you about the challenge that Autism Europe has launched. To celebrate #AutismDay2023 it asked autistic people to take 5 photos that represent autism to you.


Since I am not an autistic person I will not be able to participate in this contest. But I am very keen to be able to publicise the event in the hope that many autistic people will take part.


How do you see your autism? Have you thought about it? Which image best represents your autism? It is often difficult to express what we feel. And in autism this is a recurring issue. But art has the ability to be a universal language that can help express what autistic people feel, think and say about themselves.


How does the autistic person explain a meltdown? Although it can be explained, and I have done it several times myself, autistic people usually tell me it's not like that! Which is understandable, not least because the experience is something unique and unique to the person. But if I show a blurred image of a person, it can help the other person to better understand what is meant by a meltdown. It's as if the image has this capacity to trigger in any one of us a whole set of mental and even experiential representations. For example, many people have felt dizzy and the sensation of fainting, right? And that was felt as something quite unpleasant and uncomfortable. And in that way it might be better for a non-autistic person to understand what a meltdown is by seeing that picture.


And how do you explain the feeling that you get from others not understanding it? How many autistic people haven't tried it already and felt again that people didn't understand it! And why not show a picture of your shadow reflected in a reinforced door with two locks? Or how to explain the mixed feelings at the moment of knowing the diagnosis? And choose a picture of a woman giving birth, where her face is torn between immense joy and unforgettable pain!


I will not go on giving examples, because it seems to me contrary to the very purpose of the invitation. Go to the Autism Europe website and participate.


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