The incident I am going to narrate happened in my early childhood and left a great mark on my life. The ruthless poliomyelitis disease caught me in just my second year and preluded my unsteady life story.
On my 2nd birthday in 1998, my health condition worsened, and just a few weeks later my hospital adventures began, lasting for years. I consider the childhood years to be the most important and formative period for every individual. Any incident happening during this period can change one’s future totally and maybe even follow them until death.
I was treated every summer for more than ten years. While all of my friends were having fun during the most enjoyable time of the year, I’d get various injections and would be covered in very hot rags as part of the process.
If you asked me to talk about my childhood summer memories, the first things to come to mind would be dirty hospital rooms, doctors working there, painful treatments and eternal despair. That unbearable despair is able to conquer all my thoughts and feelings.
Even though the physical pain I’d endured started to fade from my mind after some time, the hardships and miserable memories caused by the disease are still alongside me throughout my life.
These photos are the mirrors reflecting my soul – mirrors reflecting on myself.
Ehtiram Jabi (1996) is an Azerbaijani photographer from Baku. As a photojournalist he has collaborated with Reuters, ANN, RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service. His work has also been exhibited in Russia and Georgia.