Polona Avanzo is a documentary photographer who has been dedicated to documenting families. Being a mum of two, she understands how joyful and difficult at the same time parenthood can be, so she decided to combine her two passions in documentary family photography.
Her documentary project What is living a “normal” life? shows the everyday lives of children with special needs. Polona said: “In Slovenia, approximately 1 in every 10 children has special needs. They make up a significant portion of the population and yet we, as a society, tend to pretend they don’t exist. But they do. This photo essay shows just how common this situation is and how families have adapted to the challenges of a special needs child, creating nurturing, loving environments.”
So far, Polona has photographed six families with special needs kids. She visits them in their homes and spends time documenting their everyday life and witnesses their life unfolding in front of her eyes and camera. “Many parents want their children to be perfect, the smartest-best athlete-overachievers, but in reality that does not exist. Every child is a lesson for a parent if they are willing to hear it”, she said.
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