I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia by Michel Petillo

It sets out to document that euthanasia, contrary to suicide, is not triggered by a severe depressive state. It is a conscious decision and a deeply human journey where the dichotomy of right and wrong must make way for compassion and hope.
I’m not my body - A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

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Our printed editions, circulating throughout various galleries, festivals and agencies are dipped in creativity.

The spirit of DODHO’s printed edition is first and foremost an opportunity to connect with a photographic audience that values the beauty of print and those photographers exhibited within the pages of this magazine.

We invite professional and amateur photographers from all around the world to share their work in our printed edition.

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This photo documentary, a portrait of Claire Coché, sheds a light on living with impairment and pain, and the freedom and courage to find a solution regardless of the moral and legal indictments.

It sets out to document that euthanasia, contrary to suicide, is not triggered by a severe depressive state. It is a conscious decision and a deeply human journey where the dichotomy of right and wrong must make way for compassion and hope.

In the summer of 2016, I met Claire C. a then 33-year-old wheelchair-bound woman, suffering from severe debilitating pains in her right foot, epilepsy and spastic quadriplegia – a form of spastic cerebral palsy. Since the age of six, her life has been about life-threatening accidents, invasive operations, severe painkillers, and ultimately wanting to end her life. Nevertheless, she remains hopeful, owns an apartment, hosts refugees, travels the globe and is a theatre performer.

Ever since the pains in her foot started in 2012, she has been seeking a diagnosis and an effective treatment as medical specialists could not find anything physically wrong. They attributed the pain to past trauma and referred her to mental health care as a last resort. In 2017, one physician took up her case again. He anesthetized locally the main nerve in her leg to see whether the pain was “real”. The intervention revealed the pain to be the result of nerve damage, most likely due to the invasive operations to treat her spastic quadriplegia. This discovery cleared the way for a spinal neurostimulator implant in the autumn of 2017. Initially the procedure appeared to be a success but a few weeks later, the pains reoccurred, and Claire, once again, expressed her wish to recommence the procedure for active euthanasia. In March 2018, she discovered the potent analgesic powers of cannabis oil or CBD-oil, which is considered an illicit substance in Belgium. This new glimmer of hope has put euthanasia on hold once more, as this solution might significantly reduce her pain medication and to regain control of her body and life.

Claire has been using CBD for several months now and unfortunately the pains are returning. Yesterday (17/10/2018) she told me that June 2019 come she would “not longer be around”.

This journey is a challenge on many levels. The photos and the settings in which they are taken, are at times confrontational, private and delicate; inviting Claire to revisit old trauma, challenging her beliefs on love, life and death, and redefining her relationship with her parents and friends. As a photographer and part-time psychologist it is not always possible to merely observe from the sideline. From time to time, I find myself involved by offering some form of support and counsel. Ultimately, and ideally, this body of work will contribute to the discussion on euthanasia and will convey a message of hope instead of despair. In Claire’s words, this entire journey is “an act of liberation”. [Official Website]

[With a number of photographs still to be taken, this project will carry on into 2018. The book making and its publication are planned for the second half of 2018 and into 2019, additionally aiming for exhibitions and media exposure with the book’s release.]

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

I’m not my body – A story about euthanasia | Michel Petillo

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Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
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How can we help? Do you have an idea or something you'd like to share? Please use the form provided, or contact us at [email protected]
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.