Friday Fry Up: Thilde Jensen


It’s still Friday somewhere, and for those that are in it this Thilde Jensen Fry Up comes served hot. Folks lookin at Saturday time, thanks for your patience, it was worth the wait. Back in 2003 photographer Thilde jensen was diagnosed with EI (Environmental Illness) or MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) a condition in which the immune and central nervous systems go into extreme reactions when exposed to small amounts of daily chemicals. This condition ultimately forced Jensen from her home and marriage, taking refuge in the woods of Upstate New York she found relief inhabiting a tent in the woods. As a way to confront and understand her illness Jensen sought others suffering from the same condition, this led her to the desert of the American Southwest, “where many with Environmental Illness live as refugees from a chemical and electrical world they can no longer inhabit”.

The Canaries – Statement.

The Canaries series comes out of a personal encounter with a hyper-sensitive dimension of reality, invisible to most – it is a story that carries an alarming message about the human cost of progress.

Since World War II the production and use of synthetic petroleum derived chemicals has exploded. We live in a world today where man-made chemicals are part of every breath we take and where electro magnetic emissions are beaming at us from every corner.

As a result it is believed that more than ten million Americans have developed a disabling condition referred to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) or Environmental Illness (EI). EI is a condition in which the immune and central nervous systems go into extreme reactions when exposed to small amounts of daily chemicals like perfume, cleaning products, car exhaust, printed matter, construction materials and pesticides.

When the delicate balance of life first has been broken there seems no end to how sensitive we can become or to which element one might sensitize. In addition to chemicals some react to food, electromagnetic fields, textiles and even light – making life a near impossibility.

Many people with EI end up living as refugees in remote areas out of tents, cars, or retro-fitted trailers, away from dangers of neighbors’ chemical use. Others are prisoners of their homes, with advanced air filter systems to keep outside air from contaminating their breathing space.

At the core of the bizarre, and sometimes freakish, appearance of Environmental Illness is a questioning of the sanity of a human world continuing to develop in a manner that is toxic to life itself.

The Canaries  – Book available here.