Apparently, it’s a ‘travelling gallery show featuring photographs of parkinson’s sufferers and celebrity supporters for a cure.’
It’s very ‘American’, and, well …
What is it with this stuff? Check this out:
Hi, my name is Allan, and I’m a commercial photographer. Inspired by my best friend Becky, I’m creating a travelling gallery show and photo book documenting individuals with Parkinson’s. Becky has had Parkinson’s since she was 29, which surprised and appalled me enough to want to create this series of photos documenting young Parkinson’s sufferers. A few fancy faces I’d already counted among my clients were similarly inspired and decided to pitch in: thus far we have shot such luminaries as Terry Gilliam, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman and Kevin Smith, with more to come, all jumping in to help illuminate this condition through art. We are taking these photos on the road, promoting autumn shows in Los Angeles, Edinburgh and Berlin, and we need your help to make them a reality.
The words that get me are ‘create this series of photos documenting young Parkinson’s sufferers. A few fancy faces I’d already counted among my clients were similarly inspired and decided to pitch in: thus far we have shot such luminaries as …’ I see no PD sufferers. The video says that the presenters are actors, not Allan and Becky. I see nothing but PR.
I am increasingly uncomfortable with celebrity campaigns. I think that they reinforce the feeling that we can give some money and salve our consciences – and our consciences are soiled not with our guilt at not doing anything, but our guilt at being well when others are ill.
I am ill when others are well. I find it monumentally patronising, and yet, recently, was amazed that PD awareness week arrived and neither I nor anyone else seemed to notice.
Creating a gallery documenting the lives of sufferers of PD or any other condition is a legitimate and, I think, useful thing. It cannot but help to disseminate awareness of this and other conditions.
Showing lots of pictures showing celebrities holding candles to ‘Illuminate Parkinson’s’ illuminates nobody. It perpetuates the feeling that we need not bother actually thinking, actually trying to empathise.
I know that their hearts are in the right place. I merely question their choice of medium, and my question says more about public attitudes to anything remotely uncomfortable: if it’s embarrassing, then we must swaddle it in niceness.
Yes spread the word. Yes let’s have ore people realise that PD sufferers, like many others, are not always obvious. I do not have a tremor. But I have PD. Surprise followed by awkwardness is the usual response to the news. This and embarrassment, and not mine.
Let’s save people from embarrassment. Just not by celebrity.