Growing up, my dad was always here to support my dreams and encourage me to pursue them – until he wasn’t anymore. On 7 October 2015, after fighting for nearly six years, he lost his last battle against cancer. At that same time, I was moving to London and beginning the most extraordinary journey, taking a first few steps towards what would a few months later become the realisation of one of my childhood dreams.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to write a book and see my name on its cover. I never thought the first one I’d write would start as a university project…
For the last term of my master’s in Arts and Lifestyle Journalism at the London College of Communication, I produced a 10,000-word piece about the impact of new technologies on human relations, using a bunch of photographs – dating back to my 80-year-old grandparents’ childhood, teenagehood and early adulthood up until now – as starting points to reflect on the ways our relationships with others, i.e. family relations, friendships, and romantic relationships, and with ourselves have changed with the emergence of technology and later on with the Internet, including apps and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, dating apps, and so on and so forth.
This first-person and opinion article with the feel of a family memoir draws a parallel between the past and the present, and somehow questions whether or not one is better than the other – eventually realising that technology has improved human lives a lot as well as human relationships, but there is a tendency today to let technology ease these human relationships too much, to the point where they slowly become inexistent.
When I had completed the work and turned it into the physical book it now is, I couldn’t help but wish for my dad to be here to see that one of the dreams he had always supported and encouraged had come true.
Therefore, in order for me to honour him and thank him, I dedicated him Photographs, and decided to share my profit from selling this little book with Cancer Research UK (a donation from the sales will be made to CRUK).
“I looked through the photographs one more time, and as I was putting them back in their boxes one by one, I thought to myself: I want photographs to show my grandchildren too, pictures of faces of the people I met and knew and loved, I want stories from all the places I’ve ever lived in. But what kind of stories are they going to be if my only company is that of a phone and its bazillion apps or that of robot friends? I want to be left with a bunch of old photographs in a tiny vintage suitcase, with each picture having colours and shapes characteristic of their time. I want to be reminded of the good olden days when I’m eighty, and I want to show and tell my grandchildren about what a hectically wonderful ride life has been.”