I want to disappear - Approaching Eating Disorders
Anorexia, Bulimia and related Phenomena are increasingly widespread. According to the ANAD, up to 70 million people of all ages and genders are currently worldwide suffering from an eating disorder. There is evidence to suggest that it is young women in the Western world who are at the highest risk of developing them and that the degree of „Westernization“ increases the risk. Heightened body awareness, unrealistic beauty-ideals and the emerging trend for self- optimization, dieting and fitness are also one but far not the only reason for young persons to feel insecure about themselves and their appearance.
Experts such as sociologists, psychologists and therapists agree that not only social processes but also individual experiences and family dynamics are highly relevant factors– nonetheless, the topic is treated often in a quite one-dimensional way and is used by media rather as a keyword than being presented as a serious illness. A closer examination often is prevented by an omnipresent taboo connected to the topic.
By using a collaborative approach and in cooperation with women and girls who were willing to share their experience, this project aims to establish a different perspective on the subject, which is capable to overcome black-and-white-patterns. Therefore, I didn’t only take photographs but also conducted lengthy interviews, and collected drawings, sculptures, writings and pictures made by the protagonists.
This open approach allowed the participants to decide freely what they wanted to contribute to the project, and how deep they wanted to engage with it. The outcome is not only addressed to those who are interested in photography and art but also to those who are in touch with eating disorders and interested to see it from a new point of view.