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Do you take pictures to remember?

Posted on 03/6/2012 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

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Two recent photography essays have delved deeply into that most ephemeral yet integral part of ourselves: our memories.

One of these, from the clever vision of Tom Hussey, is a moving set of portraits of people reguarding their youngselves in their reflection. As an essay, it hits deeply at something we do everyday. It also allows us to discuss with ourselves how we look at ourselves in the mirror. Each reflected image incorporates an element of the person as they see themselves, something about their previous profession and strong point in their lives. But what really holds the power of these images are not the reflections, but the initial people. Their expressions do not contain sorrow, regret or bitterness. Their faces show deep pride.

The second essay documents an issue that one does not initially consider in the world of the justice system, that of older inmates who are beginning to or actively have Alzheimer’s. Todd Heisler of the New York Times followed a group of inmates who have essentially been trained as nurses. These men assist their fellows who have progressed to needing more care. Yet, as Heisler’s essay shows, not every inmate accepts this help. It is a difficult issue to profile. This essay looks at a situation and a solution.

These two projects use the camera as a way to discuss aspects of memory and aging. For nearly 200 years, photography has been a way that people preserve the past and communicate to others. For more information and resources on Alzheimer’s and brain health, check out the “Living with Alzheimer’s” section of our website.

Photo credit: pnzr242 on Flickr.