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Adam and David

“Both David and I have Ocular Cutaneous Albinism. This leads us to have just below 10% vision with nystagmus (involuntary eye wobble), very pale skin and we burn very easily.  We have both had the condition since birth but have both adapted to it as it is only what we know. The background in the photograph relates to us because as a family we love to travel. Unable to sit in the sun, we have to find other things to do on holiday.  A few years ago we decided to try scuba diving, and that has now become a family passion. When we are under the water (20m down)  we are protected from the sun, thus can’t be burnt.  Being underwater is a safe world away from the sun and somewhere where we can forget all about our eye condition. (Even though we may not see everything everybody else does underwater).” -Adam and David

As a photographer, London-based Julia Fullerton-Batten could think of no more life-changing event than losing her sight. With her father-in-law slowly becoming blind, she was haunted with wondering at what it must be like to lose such a precious sense. Setting out to find those who were either fully or partially blind, the photographer invited individuals to share their stories of living without. Allowing the models to choose their own background, each dreamy landscape is imbued with deep personal meaning. Many seem to wistfully gaze into the great beyond, their world saturated with soft drifting colors of darkness and light. Here in these surreal scenes we get a sense of the other-worldly nature of living without sight, each image a familiar tale of struggle, endurance and hope.

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Nala

“The background relates to her love of water and swimming. She loves to swim. She glides elegantly through water, wearing prescription goggles. It seems in water that she is much freer and more confident physically.” – Nala (by her mother)

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Georgina

“My eye condition has lead to total blindness in my left eye and periods of complete sight loss from detached retinas but now have relatively good vision in the right. When asked what images and places came to mind of importance to me, my immediate thoughts where very simple ones. It’s the simple and most obvious things we miss when they’re gone and also those we take most for granted. An image I have as a child was the trees at the back of my parent’s large garden that the light used to shine through. That was an image of home for me. And the simplicity of light slipping through very tall trees could invoke such emotion was a sight that was devastating to be without but never really felt this until it was no longer there for me. I have been given a second chance with my sight and will take pride and pleasure in all these images.” – Georgina

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Louie

“Even though life with Louie is challenging and we seem to always be walking on egg shells, we never stop him doing anything.  If he wants to climb steep hills we don’t stand in his way (even though it’s pretty hard for me to watch). Louie loves hills, running up and down them, riding up and down them on his scooter even lying down and rolling down them. Whatever he is doing with them he is a delight to watch and a true inspiration to us all.” – Louie (by his mother)

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Joy

“My name is Joy Addo and I am 18 years old. I have an inflammatory disease at the back of my eyes. This has been an on-going problem throughout my life. The reason I was photographed outside a bus stop was because I have been using that same bus stop for a number of years now. I have been taking very similar routes which mostly consisted using this particular bus journey.

I have now moved out of the family home and therefore will not be using the bus stop as often, however it is a route that I will never forget.” – Joy

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Yuen

“I have not been able to see how I look compared to other girls and women, and so have always been very unsure about my looks, particularly as my mum has never been complimentary. I fantasised about being like a beautiful princess one day. I love dancing, so I talked to Julia about shooting a backdrop that was like a beautiful ballroom with glittering chandeliers where I could dance like a beautiful princess.” – Yuen

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