Life force: You and me

PhotographerConstanza Portnoy
PrizeGold in Gente / Familia
Entry Description

Jorge is 37 years old and was born with phocomelia, that is, a congenital malformation affecting both his upper and lower limbs. One year before his birth, her mother had whooping cough and was treated with a thalidomide-based drug. In the mid-1950s, the same drug caused thousands of babies being born with congenital malformations around the world. It was prescribed by medical specialists as anti-nausea and over-the-counter sedative for pregnant women. It was mistakenly considered harmless.These regrettable events highlighted the teratogenic effect of the drug and, despite thousands of complaints, thalidomide continued to circulate for several decades and was applied for different diseases and treatments without any type of pharmacovigilance sanitary control of the patient. This was the case of Jorge. My documentary photographic project seeks to highlight the reparative force of desire and the bonds of love between a disabled father and his little daughter, beyond the social and aberrant injustices that threaten life itself. This project also seeks to break with the preconceived ideas and disapproving looks of many sectors of society called "normal" about the possibility of a person with a disability to develop a full and complete life in all its aspects.The relationship between Jorge and his daughter √Āngeles is a bond of love, guidance, care, support and cooperation. It is fed by mutual and unconditional acceptance of both. Angeles has a profound wisdom and understanding about respect for differences, despite her young age, she often encourages people in the street to approach her father out of prejudice, denial and rejection. My objective through these images: to provoke thought on two levels, on the one hand to make highlight and remember that there are forgotten victims as a consequence of the great industrial monopolies and on the other hand to focus on that genuine bond of deep recognition of the other through love, perhaps seeking to illuminate from the simplicity and authenticity of human relations, that which belongs to the order of the elemental so that our society is constituted in equality of rights.

About Photographer

My name is Constanza Portnoy, I am of Argentine nationality. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology and a postgraduate specialization in disability and early childhood. I am also a documentary photographer. I am currently developing a research work on a doctoral thesis that merges both disciplines and deals with the psychosocial impact and resilience of human beings to certain events with traumatic potential generated by causes such as institutional, governmental or social abandonment. In this sense, I am interested in deepening the construction of family bonds and love relationships that have a positive impact on the lives of those affected, especially, I emphasize in those minority sectors that fight for their denied rights. I have published my work as a photographer in various Argentine media outlets mainstream and independent. I have also published for international platforms works as a correspondent on the struggles for the rights of women and minority sectors