Shooting my project for exhibition EPEA03 I wanted to document the everyday lives of a group of young women fighting anorexia and bulimia. I am extremely preoccupied with body image and have thought for myself: If even I in my late twenties find it hard not to compare myself to the body images we see on TV or in magazines, how must it be to be a teenager in 2015? Growing up in a selfie culture with Instagram, Facebook and other social media.

After discovering Drzewo Zycia in Malawa, Poland, I was eager to go and meet the girls with my camera. For me, it’s essential that my reportage isn’t seen as a freak show or a display of people suffering. My goal has been to really meet the girls and try to understand them and hopefully by telling their stories, putting awareness on the issues of mental and eating disorders.

I lived with the girls for the summer, slept by their sides, ate all meals with them, heard them cry, laugh, miss their families, all while trying to find the healthy voice inside of them that they hadn’t listened to for a long time.

The story is up on my website and will be in my portfolio for Moment soon.

Here is a short film where I tell more about The girls from Malawa.

/Marie Hald