Alix is almost 15. He has Fragile X syndrome – a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment-.
He loves taking pictures. I have known Alix since he was born. His mum is a school friend. We never lost touch, we even got closer with time. I also have a son, Leo, who is 14 too.
Since his early teens, Alix has started to borrow my camera, ipad or phone to take pictures, lots of pictures: objects, details, landscapes, people and… selfies. I have always been amazed by the results, his choices of subjects, of angles. I decided to take pictures of him too – when he would allow me -. A bit of a photography ping pong match! His eye on the outside world. Mine on his.
The thing is Alix obviously loves photography but doesn’t like admitting it. Here is a conversation between his mum, Elisa and him…
Elisa : “Would you like to talk about your life a bit Alix?”
Alix: “I don’t like to talk about my life, I don’t feel like it now”.
Elisa: “We can talk about the fact that you like taking pictures. What kind of photos do you like to take?”
Elisa: “Otherwise, what do you like?”
Alix : ” I love eating “saucisson” in front of my favourite show on youtube. I love action movies with fights and stunts. I also love music. It makes me feel good.”
Elisa: “Do you like travelling?”
Elisa: “Would you like to talk about X fragile syndrome?
Alix : ” One shouldn’t laugh at disabled people. I am already forced to put on with them at school. I am getting better at it. Can we talk about something else?”
I really hope there will be more photography between us and more to discover from Alix’s world through photography. I have seen it through the “Though The Lens” workshops I have led with pupils and young learners with autism from TreeHouse School and Ambitious College, photography is a wonderful tool to communicate, progress, create and have fun!
More about Fragile X Syndrome in the UK: http://www.fragilex.org.uk