Life Drive

PhotographerConstanza Portnoy
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryBuenos Aires, Argentina
Photo DateFebruary and March 2017
Technical InfoDigital photography
Story

Every human being needs a bond of love and support to develop healthily. However, society has often shown that stigma, prejudice and forgetting are often the most common forms for a person with a disability. Jorge is 37 years old and since birth he has been looked down on and opinions towards his body that stigmatize, reject and even condemn to death.With only a few weeks of life both the doctor who brought him to the world and his own family, they told his mother that it was better if he let the child die because he would still be unable to survive in this world by himself given his condition. Jorge was born with congenital malformation affecting both his upper and lower limbs. One year before his birth, her mother had whooping cough and was treated with a thalidomide-based drug. In the mid-1950s, the same drug caused thousands of babies being born with congenital malformations around the world. It was prescribed by medical specialists as anti-nausea and over-the-counter sedative for pregnant women. It was mistakenly considered harmless.These regrettable events highlighted the teratogenic effect of the drug and, despite thousands of complaints, thalidomide continued to circulate for several decades and was applied for different diseases and treatments without any type of pharmacovigilance sanitary control of the patient. My project seeks to highlight the reparative force of desire and the bonds of love between a disabled father and his little daughter, beyond the social and aberrant injustices that threaten life itself.

Entry Description

Jorge is 37 years old and was born with a congenital malformation affecting both his upper and lower limbs. One year before his birth, her mother had whooping cough and was treated with a thalidomide-based drug. In the mid-1950s, the same drug caused thousands of babies being born with congenital malformations around the world. It was prescribed by specialists as anti-nausea and over-the-counter sedative for pregnant women. It was mistakenly considered harmless.These regrettable events highlighted the teratogenic effect of the drug and, despite thousands of complaints, thalidomide continued to circulate for several decades and was applied for different diseases and treatments without any type of pharmacovigilance control of the patient. My project seeks to highlight the reparative force of desire and the bonds of love between a disabled father and his little daughter, beyond the social and aberrant injustices that threaten life itself.

Story

Every human being needs a bond of love and support to develop healthily. However, society has often shown that stigma, prejudice and forgetting are often the most common forms for a person with a disability. Jorge is 37 years old and since birth he has been looked down on and opinions towards his body that stigmatize, reject and even condemn to death.With only a few weeks of life both the doctor who brought him to the world and his own family, they told his mother that it was better if he let the child die because he would still be unable to survive in this world by himself given his condition. Jorge was born with congenital malformation affecting both his upper and lower limbs. One year before his birth, her mother had whooping cough and was treated with a thalidomide-based drug. In the mid-1950s, the same drug caused thousands of babies being born with congenital malformations around the world. It was prescribed by medical specialists as anti-nausea and over-the-counter sedative for pregnant women. It was mistakenly considered harmless.These regrettable events highlighted the teratogenic effect of the drug and, despite thousands of complaints, thalidomide continued to circulate for several decades and was applied for different diseases and treatments without any type of pharmacovigilance sanitary control of the patient. My project seeks to highlight the reparative force of desire and the bonds of love between a disabled father and his little daughter, beyond the social and aberrant injustices that threaten life itself.

About Photographer

My name is Constanza Portnoy, I am of Argentine nationality. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology and a postgraduate specialization in disability and early childhood. I am also a documentary photographer. I am currently developing a research work on a doctoral thesis that merges both disciplines and deals with the psychosocial impact and resilience of human beings to certain events with traumatic potential generated by causes such as institutional, governmental or social abandonment. In this sense, I am interested in deepening the construction of family bonds and love relationships that have a positive impact on the lives of those affected, especially, I emphasize in those minority sectors that fight for their denied rights. I have published my work as a photographer in various Argentine media outlets mainstream and independent. I have also published for international platforms works as a correspondent on the struggles for the rights of women and minority sectors.