The shape of our eyes, other things I wouldn't know

Davide Sartori

Keywords: Relationship, Identity, Fatherhood

Internship: Petra Stavast

What does it mean to be a good father? Traditional societal expectations are based on the responsibility to work and to therefore provide. It is only by being away from the family on a daily basis, both physically and emotionally, that the archetypal man can feel he is fulfilling the duties of fatherhood. My father used to be a stranger to me, someone I didn't know how to talk to or to connect with.

In an effort to get to know each other, I invited him into a professional collaboration. With my work serving as the pretext to practice photography therapeutically, we began piecing together the fragments of an intergenerational trauma. My grandfather’s early passing, a result of a stroke at his workplace, forced my father onto the same career path when he was just coming of age. This is how the airport became the focal point of his life.

Together, we explore our workplaces, the airport and the photographic studio, and how they shape our identities. By facing the fear of seeing myself in him, I became a role model for my own father in terms of empathy. And the more vulnerable we were with each other, the more we bridged the gap between us.