Photographer Kate Orne is best known for her portrait, fashion, and documentary work, including the project, Brothels & Fundamentalism, which was featued on 20×200 and won the Berenice Abbott Prize for an Emerging Photographer in 2008. Kate contacted me after reading Photographing Family in Too Much Chocolate about a personal project titled, Conversations with Mamma, that explores her mother’s decent into Alzheimer’ s disease. I appreciate Kate’s willingness to share this difficult journey with us.
Conversations with Mamma
I always was a mirror image of my father both in looks and personality.
With age traces of my mother, who unlike my father, was patient and present – would appear in my reflection, which I found unnerving. I love my mother deeply but despite of our complicated relationship I always took pride in being my fathers’ girl, which in some ways reinforced my bond with him. Today I see more of my mother in my self.
Where am I? I want to go home.
You are at home mamma.
This is not my home.
Do you see the black and white picture of Pappa and me on the windowsill?
Is that Pappa?
Yes, that’s Pappa. All the books and furniture’s is yours as well.
I don’t recognize them I want to go home. I hate it here I want to go home.
Then she cries. I feel helpless.
She doesn’t answer her phone anymore. She no longer understands how it works.
I use to dread this day. But my memories of our conversations remain inside.
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