Picturing Autism

 

I began this project in 2012. Six countries later, in Vietnam, it is in it's final stages.  Along the way I have had two exhibitions, one in New York, and another in Vietnam. In each exhibition my intention was to present a collective portrait of the faces, families, and global communities impacted by autism. My project reflects my search to understand what autism looks like across language barriers and cultural divides. I have been overwhelmed with gratitude by the faith and generosity of the people who were willing to welcome my camera and me into their lives to share their stories.

In Vietnam, all was made possible by my partnership with the Vietnamese Autism Network (VAN) and The Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP) in Hanoi. The exhibition, Picturing Autism: Vietnam, funded in part by Grand Challenges Canada, with funding by the previously mentioned advocacy organization, VAN and NGO, CCIHP.  My partnership with CCIHP will continue with an exciting collaboration through 2017 with funding from the Welcome Trust: International Engagement Award.

An excerpt from a Hufffington Post's interview in 2014:

The Huffington Post | By Mandy Velez –

Photographer Debbie Rasiel spent two years taking pictures of children with autism spectrum disorders all over the world. She discovered that “while living conditions, resources and treatment vary by region, autism presents the same.”

Mother to a 23-year-old with autism, the New York-based documentary photographer started her project because of a desire to bridge the gap between two of the things she’s most familiar with: autism and art.

“I wanted to offer those not familiar with autism an opportunity to see what autism looks like, a safe space [the concept of displaying autism in an art gallery] where social mores would not prevent them from staring,” Rasiel told The Huffington Post.

 

I began this project in 2012. Six countries later, in Vietnam, it is in it's final stages.  Along the way I have had two exhibitions, one in New York, and another in Vietnam. In each exhibition my intention was to present a collective portrait of the faces, families, and global communities impacted by autism. My project reflects my search to understand what autism looks like across language barriers and cultural divides. I have been overwhelmed with gratitude by the faith and generosity of the people who were willing to welcome my camera and me into their lives to share their stories.

In Vietnam, all was made possible by my partnership with the Vietnamese Autism Network (VAN) and The Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP) in Hanoi. The exhibition, Picturing Autism: Vietnam, funded in part by Grand Challenges Canada, with funding by the previously mentioned advocacy organization, VAN and NGO, CCIHP.  My partnership with CCIHP will continue with an exciting collaboration through 2017 with funding from the Welcome Trust: International Engagement Award.

An excerpt from a Hufffington Post's interview in 2014:

The Huffington Post | By Mandy Velez –

Photographer Debbie Rasiel spent two years taking pictures of children with autism spectrum disorders all over the world. She discovered that “while living conditions, resources and treatment vary by region, autism presents the same.”

Mother to a 23-year-old with autism, the New York-based documentary photographer started her project because of a desire to bridge the gap between two of the things she’s most familiar with: autism and art.

“I wanted to offer those not familiar with autism an opportunity to see what autism looks like, a safe space [the concept of displaying autism in an art gallery] where social mores would not prevent them from staring,” Rasiel told The Huffington Post.

view less