This photography project is about João and about autism. Autism is a very distinct way of being in the world and building a reality for yourself, which often means limits to communication and social interaction, as well as patterns of repetitive behaviour.
João is 20 years old and was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. He doesn’t go to school, doesn’t pick up a book to read, doesn’t watch TV and has never used a computer or phone.
He does not speak, but from an early age he started to write. He writes about the present and about the future, addressing various issues with such quick and stunning clarity, as if he had access to information in a way unknown to us (in 2014 his book The Child of God, released by Porto Editora, was a bestseller).
Having known João for almost a year, I’ve witnessed his writing, his thoughts and desires. When we met, he wrote me some words about his thoughts on photography. João knows that words are not an absolute form of communication and believes that photography is a powerful means of boosting human mindfulness. I agreed to go through with this photography project to raise awareness of his cause and of autism. At the end, this journey gifted me with huge personal growth as a human being, as a mother and as a photographer.
This project was in exhibition at Mupi Gallery, Maus Hábitos in 2016: