EATING DISORDERS - THE OTHER SIDE
Eating disorders are lonely, dark and destructive diseases. Those affected often suffer alone for years, causing massive damage to their bodies through starvation, extreme sports, vomiting or removal. Many are depressed. An estimated ten percent of those affected die, for example due to lung infections, organ damage or suicide. Scientists have been researching the reasons and characteristics for decades, and yet many questions remain unanswered.
The journalist Nora Burgard-Arp and the photographer Anna Kant have implemented a joint photo project that depicts the reality of life of those affected and at the same time calls for a discourse on how to deal with serious and complex mental illnesses in society.
To do this, they focus on the sometimes paradoxical interaction between self-perception and the perception of others: supposedly harmless sentences by family members, friends or even doctors and therapists such as "You don't see the anorexia at all", "You are naturally more feminine" or “Just let it be” can cause panic and stir up self-loathing. Because in the subjective truth of many sufferers these sentences mean: "Nobody takes me seriously", "I can't even do it right" or "I'm bad through and through."
Nora Burgard-Arp and Anna Kant interviewed several men and women with eating disorders for their project. They talked to them about the situations in which they feel helpless and misunderstood, what statements trigger panicked thoughts and how they perceive their own illness in contrast to the social consensus.
In order to subversively counter the glamorous-chic image that still adheres to eating disorders, Nora Burgard-Arp and Anna Kant use in their photo project "Eating Disorders: The Other Side" on a radical and dark visual language, the photographic aesthetics with the brutal how sometimes dirty reality linked by eating disorders.