What happened in your life that changed your world perception? This question was the starting point of Chrysalises. This work presents anonymous stories about intimate events that changed the worldview of their authors, forcing them to grow up, rebuild themselves or look at things through a new perspective.
This is an excerpt of a photobook which will be published in 2019/2020.
1. A few care series given by a shaman friend has opened a door to spirituality for me, allowing me to be at peace with myself as well as others and to better understand my place in this world. My life is not the same anymore as I see everything under new light.
2. I was born on the Reunion Island and when I turned ten years old, my parents decided to move out to metropolitan France. There, I faced another world, another galaxy altogether. At school, I felt like I did not fit in as I had an accent and people would point it out to me. It took me a long time to adapt and that academic year was the worst in my whole life. I truly struggled for many months.
3. Last year was the twentieth anniversary of my mom’s death. She was thirty-six and it was a Tuesday. I was in high school all morning. Everything was fine, my mother was healthy. At noon, we ate together with my parents, as we do every week. I left the house at two in the afternoon and, as I was in a hurry, I did not take the time to kiss my mother good-bye. When I came home late in the afternoon, the neighbor was there and asked me to follow her to her house because my mother had an accident. My father came a little while after, crying. It was first time I saw him break down. My mother had an aneurysm rupture. They flew her to the hospital by helicopter and during the next three days, my father went back and forth, from the hospital to our home. During this difficult time, I hoped that they would save her, keeping a picture of her in my hands. When my dad returned for good, he told me it was really over.
4. I was between twelve and thirteen years old, when I went to Quebec to see an opera with the school. The goal of our trip was to widen our horizons. At that age, my horizons were not very wide. Our teacher had us listen to “La Traviata” the whole year and like all the other students, as soon as I would listen to three notes I would say “Hey! that’s lame“. Back at the opera in Quebec, when the curtains opened and I noticed all the singers on stage with their large dresses, I was impressed. When the music began and all the singers sung, all of a sudden, my world went like “POOF“, the universe opened up to me. Honestly, I never lived such an incredible moment. I really felt like that instant took my breath away and I still remember it as if it was yesterday.
5. I was between eight and ten years old. It was diner time and I was eating with my family. The phone rang and, I don’t know why, I answered. It was someone from Quebec talking to me, saying “guess who it is?”. I only knew one adult from Quebec so I thought it was him. Then, he started to say weird things. It was actually a pedophile who would call people, suggesting them to do things. Such as “touch your penis and tell me when it’s hard”. I found that weird but I kept on listening to him. I was uncomfortable but at the same time, I did not hang up. I kind of knew that what he told me was not normal at all but I was not sure at that time. I don’t have much recollection of the years after that event. It was only much later that I remembered this story.
6. A few years back, my godmother passed away. She was sixty-one. She was a strong-willed woman, a go-getter who loved and cherished life. She had been hospitalized for a pneumonia, then decided to go back home for what was left of her time on earth. She asked the paramedics to leave her two minutes, so she could look at her beloved living room one last time. Shortly after, we helped her into her bedroom upstairs. She knew she would not get out. We spent the rest of the day with her, drinking her best bottles, bringing her whatever food she wanted etc. Before she went to sleep that night, she told me: “If this is what dying is like, I am okay to die twice“. She never woke up.
Guillaume Tomasi (b.1984, France) is an emerging photographer based in Montreal. His work has been featured in various publications (both printed and online) and has been exhibited in Sheffield, Montreal, London and Bienne. In 2016 he initiated the collaborative project Fiiiirst which features anonymous image based discussions between authors and photographers. He is currently completing his BFA in Photography at Concordia University.