Picture This : Photographer Bunshri Chandaria Charts Alzheimer Loss in an Art Book ‘Silent Voice’

Bunshri Chandaria

“I was your childhood friend. You gave me your daughter.”

These are words of my late mother-in-law, Ramaba placed next to a saree image in the artist book, Silent Voice.

Ramaba’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis alarmed me.  She was the epitome of beauty but a disconnect between her and the world had set in. She was unable to communicate in a manner people were accustomed to. They did not know how to react/ interact with her. She went quiet.

I felt a deep need to give her a voice. I decided to make a photographic book.

Through Silent Voice, I make visible the invisibility of her Alzheimer’s condition. I created images to evoke a visceral response in the viewer – to emphasize her foggy, confused mind. I wanted the viewer to look back and forth between images and her spoken fragmented recollections – for him/her to reflect on the harshness of the disease.

The afterword in Silent Voice reveals the trigger for her transient, random memories.  Many of hers had triggered mine. Those one-to-one times were precious. I miss her joy, I miss her!

The time constraint of her daily needs prompted me to photograph spontaneously and intuitively, steering me in a new way: to slow down and breathe, to be light and playful – to embrace her changing world. The project had been my solace, helping me to unleash the deep sadness and loss I felt within.

Being awarded a Fellowship for Silent Voice- has prompted me to bring about a change.

I am delighted to be working with St Albans Museum & Gallery on bringing awareness about a harsh subject in an inspiring creative manner. 

On 29th January, 2023 at the St Albans Museum and Gallery:

  • IN CONVERSATION EVENT about how the book came into being

Please click on this link to buy a £5 ticket.



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