Six strangers with a backpack (2014)
I met Juan Gabriel in September 2013.
I asked him to tell me his experience following a single rule: he must write me his story, avoiding words around the disease. He sent me a 9 pages letter.
“When they gave me the name of my new friend I didn’t react, I assumed it from ignorance and strength. From that moment I started to carry a large backpack. Maybe my backpack intentions were different, but what I just knew in that room with all this people around me, is that carrying this backpack wasn’t going to make me stop in my way. ”
Juan Gabriel has Crohn’s disease.
The 13th of December 2013 I published a message on Facebook asking for volunteers, regardless of age or sex, to collaborate on an art project. I didn’t give further details. I received 20 messages in response.
“These are the rules of the game: I will give a heavy backpack to you. You will have to carry that weight for an indeterminate time, trying to take showers, work, sleep, and perform all daily actions with it. I would like you to bring me a testimony of your experience during that time (video diary, letters, drawings, cartoons, fb messages, whatever). It’s important that you didn’t know why or for how long. You’ll receive a call when you can leave the weight.”