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During the last two years, I've been working on my first photo project "Grålysning", which is a series of self-portraits. I became ill 13 years ago, and was eventually diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. Through photography I learned how to deal with personal experiences, and it allowed me to create a kind of inner conversation with myself. Eventually this initiated a need to express myself about mental health, and that's what started this project. Through "Grålysning" I try to convey what it is like to live with a mental illness, where the photographs become visual metaphors of my inner images and voice. I myself have felt restrained by society's stigma surrounding mental health and spent several years before I was able to tell my loved ones that I had Bipolar disorder. I have had a long and winding road from being ill to learning how to live with my challenges and limitations. Bipolar means two poles, two opposites, the dark and the light. I have been in the darkness a lot. Therefore, it has been necessary for me to keep up hope no matter how low I feel, and to recognize my own vulnerability without being crushed. Maintaining balance in an unbalanced mind. It has been a demanding project to work on, both physically and mentally. Several hundred photos have been shot, on windy mountaintops and in icy waterfalls. Using oneself as a model felt more personal and therefore became a natural choice. I had to dig deep to be able to create some of the pictures, but it has also helped me become more confident in myself and given me a greater ability to see myself from the outside. By "telling" my story, I want to inspire others and contribute with more openness.
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