Photography Exhibition: Anna and her experience with breast cancer & subsequent mastectomy

A selection of photographs from my photoshoots with my friend Anna Demirtzi will be on exhibit at the Imvrian Association in Nea Smyrni on Sunday 9th June at 11:30-13:30 and 18:00-21:00. The photoshoots and subsequent exhibit were Anna’s initiative following the sudden and unexpected challenge that faced her with breast cancer and the mastectomy she underwent, the purpose of the exhibit is to inform and instigate a conversation concerning breast cancer and mastectomy.
Your presence will give us great joy!

 

When Anna first approached me with the challenge she was suddenly facing and her request for a pre-op photoshoot I must admit I was taken aback. I had never done anything of the kind, except for a boudoir photo shoot with another friend. There was also no idea in our minds that this would develop into an exhibition-worthy photoshoot. It was purely meant as a homage, a farewell if you like or a souvenir of herself before the mastectomy she was to undergo and the desire to log her experience. I was extremely aware of the sensitivity of the photo shoot and the emotional weight it would carry.

Anna, bless her, was anxious and camera-shy, which was to be expected, in particular because of the nature of the photo shoot which involved nudity, but more than the obvious nudity was the need to relinquish her natural boundaries and the subsequent need to face herself and what she was about to experience.

Soon after the first photo shoot Anna underwent the mastectomy, opting for removing the one breast where the malignant cyst had been discovered. She had been given the option of removing both as a precautionary act, but after much dilemma and research of her own she chose not to.

Following the mastectomy and the radiation treatments she was given, Anna approached me again with the idea of hosting an exhibition in an effort to raise awareness, to inform and instigate a conversation on this, as yet taboo in Greece, subject. I was glad to accept her request and we went ahead and did a post-op photoshoot to complete the series.

lenochka b xxx

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