According to the WHO, in 2017 there were more than 50 million people with dementia worldwide. A total of 7.7 million new cases are reported every year, and each one becomes a significant burden on families and health systems. Dementia is an acquired degeneration of the brain characterised by a persistent decrease in cognitive activity with a loss of previously acquired knowledge and practical skills. From the very first manifestations to the most severe forms, patients require care and social support.
I began researching the problem of dementia when my grandmother was diagnosed with it. We talked about her illness so she would not lose touch with reality. I also involved my children in this process, which was very helpful. Glimpses of her complex and interesting character are like pearls acquired through the hard work of constant communication. These moments dear to our hearts, the chronicle of the struggle against "the darkness" and visions from a past life - military childhood, interesting youth, medical practice in the cruel inhuman conditions of the Russian hinterland - these are the essence of the project, which has become more than a project for me. At a certain point, I felt the need to photograph her in those moments when she talks about her visions. I have traced a clear relationship between memories, strong impressions and fears from my grandmother's past and painful visions in the present.
There is no happy ending in this struggle, the illness always wins, and this dread is visible. When phantasmagorias merge with reality it's always scary, and the only thing that can help is the attention and intimacy of relatives.