Jon – the Life of a Multi-Handicapped 11-Year-Old Boy

My goal has been to understand Jon and his feelings. It took a while before I could read his very special body languages. At first I spent a lot of time just to get to know him and his family before I pulled the camera out. After a while they got more relaxed and comfortable with me being around, so that I could come closer and make more intimate moments with my camera. It has been a challenge to create that closeness and to capture his personality through the lens, as well as an eye opening experience for me personally and photographically.—Sara Marie Ramsoe

Jon is a multi-handicapped 11-year-old boy. He was born without eyes and cannot talk or communicate. He doesn’t understand words, and doesn’t have the ability to learn them. He cannot walk or use his body, therefore communication goes by tone of voice and touch. Oslo-based photographer Sara Marie Ramsoe lived in the same neighborhood as Jon and would regularly see him and his family outside their house. When Ramsoe began school at Bilder Nordic School of Photography, she was given an assignment to follow a person with some sort of social difference in our society for one week. After finding the courage, Ramsøe asked Jon’s family if she could follow Jon and document his life. Ever since that first assignment, Jon has been Ramsøe’s subject of choice.