A father photographs the world of his autistic son
Timothy Archibald started photographing his autistic son Elijah when he was 5 years old. His aim was to document the often bizarre and incomprehensible world of his son.
Read this lovely story from the Lomography.com and try to improve your vocabulary with these words: series, withdrawn, spectrum, to teeter, to curl up.
The photographer Thimothy Archibald shares with us his interesting and moving project. In his ‘Echolilia’, Archibald explores his relationship with his son Elijah.
He started to photograph Elijah when he was only 5. However, back then, Archibald’s goal was nothing but sheer documentation. Elijah, who suffers from , was socially , obsessed with mechanical objects, and had a ritual need for repetition. Archibald photographed his son and showed the pictures to different behavioral specialists who confirmed that he was on the autistic .
Nevertheless, Archibald did not want this photographic father-son relationship to only be mere documentation and Echolilia became a three-year collaboration. The term describes the repetition of phrases common among those with autism. Archibald’s intention is to capture the very essence of his son’s repetitive rituals with his photos.
He started by capturing some of Elijah’s rituals which used to drive Archibald crazy. As Archibald explains, Elijah did things with his body and they just could not make him stop. For instance, he would on the edge of the sofa, or lie down on the grass in the garden to listen to music every day. He would also inside a plastic toy container, a ritual that resulted in one of the most moving photos of the series.
autistic (adj) characteristic of or affected with autism
autism (n) a serious mental condition that makes it difficult to communicate with other people
withdrawn (adj) Not friendly or sociable; aloof
spectrum (n) the distribution of a characteristic of a physical system or phenomenon
to teeter (v) to stand or move in a way that is not steady and makes you seem about to fall
to curl up (v) to sit in a comfortable position, with your legs bent and your feet up off the floor
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