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  • Writer's pictureАнђела Петровски

Father and son / Otac i sin

Updated: Dec 9, 2023


Ongoing project


"To Touch is To Give Life." - Michelangelo


As a father of two little boys, not so little by the day, I have realized how quickly a time will come when they won't need me to walk them to school while firmly holding their hands.

As a photographer, I came up with the idea to make a portrait of my 95-year-old grandfather and my father holding hands. It then turned into a longer journey than I had expected.


Following the start of the pandemic we decided to keep my grandfather safe so we couldn't meet for almost a year. In early spring, I stopped before a house that had captured my interest. The door of the house opened to let out a woman pushing a man in a wheelchair. The woman approached me, holding tightly a portrait of a young man. “This was our only son,” she said. “He passed away 8 months ago. My husband would like to take a picture with him.”


I started taking portraits of other fathers and their adult sons. Holding hands became a way to unite within something that had been unwillingly separated. While posing, fathers and sons held hands for the first time in years, sometimes decades.


This act of intimacy became the project's main purpose, the photos being just a mere testament to the long-unspoken love between the men. This unusual form of participatory photography revealed many important aspects of the father-son relationship, their vulnerability, and their varying levels of interaction and acceptance.



Photo and text by Valery POSHTAROV




 


Projekat koji je u toku



"Dodirnuti je dati život." - Michelangelo



Kao otac dvojice dečaka, ne tako malih iz dana u dan, shvatio sam kako će brzo doći vreme kada im neću trebati da ih vodim do škole držeći ih čvrsto za ruke.

Kao fotograf, došao sam na ideju da napravim portret mog 95-godišnjeg dede i mog oca koji se drže za ruke. Onda se to pretvorilo u duže putovanje nego što sam očekivao.


Nakon početka pandemije odlučili smo da čuvamo mog dedu tako da se nismo mogli sresti skoro godinu dana. U rano proleće, zaustavio sam se ispred kuće koja me je zainteresovala. Vrata kuće su se otvorila i iz njih izašla žena koja je gurala muškarca u invalidskim kolicima. Žena mi je prišla, čvrsto držeći portret mladića. „Ovo je bio naš jedini sin“, rekla je. „Preminuo je pre 8 meseci. Moj muž bi želeo da se slika sa njim.”


Počeo sam da slikam portrete drugih očeva i njihovih odraslih sinova. Držanje za ruke postalo je način ujedinjenja unutar nečega što je nevoljno razdvojeno. Dok su pozirali, očevi i sinovi su se prvi put držali za ruke nakon nekoliko godina, ponekad i decenija.


Ovaj čin intimnosti postao je glavna svrha projekta, fotografije su samo puki dokaz dugo neizgovorene ljubavi između muškaraca. Ovaj neobičan oblik participativne fotografije otkrio je mnoge važne aspekte odnosa oca i sina, njihovu ranjivost i različite nivoe interakcije i prihvatanja.


Photo and text by Valery POSHTAROV




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1 Comment


Alexander Rose
Alexander Rose
Jul 03, 2023

What a fantastic and touching project, Anđela. Please keep this entire site running; it's a godsend for Westerners like me who are hungry for Balkan culture. Hvala puno.

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