Viviane Rakotoarivony

Location: Madagascar
Nationality: Malagasy
Biography: Viviane RAKOTOARIVONY is a Malagasy photographer, born and living in the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo. She was a painting artist before becoming a photographer. She exhibited her photos for the first time at the Isar't gallery in... MORE
Public Story
Copyright Viviane Rakotoarivony 2023
Updated Jun 2023
Location Madagascar
Topics Family, Health/Healing, Parenting & Family, Photography, Reportage, Senior Citizens, Spotlight
My grandmother, Germaine RASOAZANANY, is now 87 years old.
She lives in Isotry since she was born. As well as her parents.
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease seven years ago.

 Her memory and her capacity of reflection are altered to the point where she forgets after 2 minutes of exchange the moments that one has just spent with her. However, she has retained most of her distant memories.
For years, while my parents were working in the provinces of Madagascar, she kept me with her. Now, when I visit her, she no longer recognizes me. This saddens me deeply.

Germaine is a courageous woman, an ordinary hero. She was widowed on March 3, 1971 when her oldest son was only 14 years old and her youngest children, twins, were only a few months old. She and her 10 children lived on her late husband's alimony. Before this illness, she was an active and determined woman. She used to get up early to do her work and sew her children's clothes, which was her passion. She sewed her children's clothes herself. Her days were more than full between housework during the day and taking care of her children in the evening.

Today, her daily life is essentially summed up by doing things she likes, such as taking care of her hair, doing the "tanavoho" which is very important for Malagasy women of her generation; watching television to pass the time. Most of the time Germaine is alone at home when her children go to work. Fortunately, despite her illness, she has kept her simplicity and natural good humor. She is a woman who has kept the values of "fihavanana" which tend to disappear nowadays. She is welcoming and invites each person who comes to her house to eat.
Through this photographic testimony, I would like to keep the memory of the love and tenderness shared between my grandmother and all of us in her family.
Let's support people with this disease.

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