The void we leave
How does it feel to get older?
What does it mean to feel completely lonely?
How does it feel when the body betrays you?
What will be left after I will leave this world?
"The void we leave" - is an ongoing personal project, in which I am trying to use the photographic medium to confront one of my greatest fears - my fear of aging.
A chance encounter in the year of 2014, led me to meet the members of an aging community, living in a crumbly apartment complex in the town of Cienfuegos, in central Cuba. Although approximately sixty years of age separate us, we created a bond, and I returned to visit them few times per year since. The photo making was a very small part - I helped carry groceries; we saw Telenovelas together, and mainly, despite a language barrier, we talked. We talked about our mutual fears, as Delphin (seen in picture 3) once told me: "Aging is not a beautiful thing. There is no more time for dreams to fulfill, places to visit, soon I will leave. Leaving behind only the void between the walls."
As time passed, I returned to find apartments that turned empty. The person has left this world, leaving behind few personal objects and the walls. Those walls witness so much: family gathering and birthdays, joy and sadness, tears and death. Now, they have remained in their solitariness, with a void between them.
Soon, the government will lodge a new tenant in the empty apartments. Personal objects will be replaced, and the walls will be painted in new colors as new life will begin. However, eventually, over time, they too will become another layer of peeling paint on the wall.
Most of the people in this project are no longer alive. Today I understand the urge I had to take their portrait in the first place. I was hoping that the camera, with its remarkable ability to freeze time, can help me to remember them. Until I too, will become a layer of peeling paint on the wall.