Non ducor, duco* – Massimo Barberio, 2015-20xx; ongoingCommon statement:
On-going project documenting the life and the struggle of Francesco (Italy, 24) and his family against multiple sclerosis, an invalidating neurodegenerative disease.
There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis, and medications used to treat MS, while modestly effective, can have adverse effects and be poorly tolerated; in some cases they are worst than the symptoms. For these reasons, they have now started an experimental protocol with a brazilian neurologist, so, annually they have to go to Sao Paulo for a medical control.
Nowadays Francesco's condition is stable, but he needs continuative assistance, also if his resiliance is something really admirable.
*(the title is due to Sao Paulo latin motto that means "I am not led, I lead" and it fits really good with him)
When I’ve started this work, I didn’t know nothing about Francesco’s real life, but for sure, I was completely aware that I didnt want to shoot the “usual health issue”. Probably from a journalistic point of view, there are still many moments missing: the rest of his family, physiotherapy sessions, and also many other propositive situations. For example, Francesco has just decided to go back to university, and he wants to learn Portuguese for the next time he will have another medical check.
These are very normal situations for everyone of us, but absolutely not for him, so also for this reason I’ve decided to focus only on him and the time we spend together, and not on his disease: this is the main propositive situation I’ve found, and there is no space in that time to think about context, captions and the 5 W.
I’m pretty sure I’m not going to do a work that will help all the people affected by MS, showing another possible way to learn from life, or about another medical treatment and how it’s possible to go on: there are scientific reviews, guru and priests for that.
I don’t know if photography that can drive change or that can have an impact still exists, but for sure I’m having an impact on his life as he’s doing the same on mine: a good point to start a story, the best one to start the most amazing relationship, a portrait.