SMIRJA - The book
She was just an ordinary girl. Born into an ordinary family who lived in an ordinary town. But perhaps not so ordinary after all. When she was born on the first of October 1990 she was only 33 weeks old. And it took more than a month before she would feel the warmth and heartbeat of her mother. Feelings not provided by an incubator. But Smirja turned out to be like any other child in the small Swedish town of Vara.
Until she turned nine when she was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis.
At the age of 11 she was provided with a corset that would straighten her spine but which she rejected after only one month. She just wanted to be like any other kid and to keep on doing her favourite thing, horseback riding. Although it hurt like hell. At the age of sixteen her spine was so deformed that surgery became inevitable. A steel bar was operated into her spine that soon became infected. New operations. Endless pain. After the fourth time the 21 year old girl had had enough. She wanted a life. She had accepted her deformity. She had accepted her pain. Now was the time for life to begin.
Her dream at that time was to take care of horses professionally which were a major theme at the high school she graduated from. But fate or love rather, led her elsewhere. She moved to Gothenburg. Worked in a casino and at festivals. Met a new love. Moved to a collective in Stockholm in 2017 where she still lives.
“Touch means a lot to me, maybe because I didn’t experience it until I left the hospital as a baby and finally came home to my mother. It also counteracts the back pain I feel. I even noticed how much touch means in my contact with horses and I can even feel a great calm in hugging trees”.
Somewhere along her journey from a life in pain and restrain she decides to turn her abnormality into normability. When she gets the opportunity to become an artist’s model in an art class, she accepts. This leads her to another art assignment, arranged by Peter Sherman.
“I was impressed by the way she posed and moved”, says Peter who just by chance asked Smirja if she could dance. And although she had danced at parties and by herself like most of us do at one time or another the thought of dancing professionally had never entered her mind. So, she danced and Peter was amazed.
“I just thought that she moved so gracefully and in such an exciting way which was comparable to many professional dancers that I encounter in my work”.
”I never had any problems with how my body looks, only the pain, but Peter has made me realise my potential. My abnormability. My goal now is to develop my artistry through my modelling and through performance art”, says Smirja with a gentle smile.
I will be dedicating a black and white photo exhibition during the Paris photography week in November to this wonderful artist. I would like you all to help make it a real celebration of her triumph in being what she is today by donating some money so that we can publish a book of the pictures at the exhibition. We have included a few of them below.
SEK 500 reward 1
SEK 500 Reward 2
SEK 2300 Reward
THE COSTS / BUDGET
The 20 000 SEK will cover the cost of a high quality production of 100 copies, including image processing, design, test printing, printing, and binding.
If the funding exceeds this amount then we will, be able to choose even finer paper and perhaps be able to produce the book with a hard cover. It could even cover some of the travelling and other costs for us in taking part in the exhibition in Paris
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges are minimal with this project. We have a written contract with the publisher and feel that we can easily meet the material delivery deadlines involved in the process of producing the book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)