‘Into Oblivion’ Uses Photography to Examine Lives of Dementia Patients
Before she took a single picture, the photographer Maja Daniels, 31, spent almost a year talking to staff members and relatives of patients at the St. Thomas de Villeneuve hospital in Bain-de-Bretagne, France.
“I developed a close relationship with some of the family members,” Ms. Daniels said. Only then did she began photographing patients in the wards devoted to dementia care.
Hospital administrators “didn’t understand what kinds of images would eventually be produced,” she added. “But they were keen to open up those doors.” Doors, in the literal sense, became the center of Ms. Daniels’s project, “Into Oblivion.” It recently won a grant from the Bob and Diane Fund, which sponsors visual storytelling about dementia.
“The first time I visited, I was on the other side of the door, and that is what grabbed me — someone behind the door trying to get my attention by waving,” Ms. Daniels said.
“This made me want to investigate the space within, the use of confinement on a locked ward as an aspect of care.”