/ Mafalda Rakoš / Photo story

I want to disappear – approaching eating disorders

Eating Disorders are not just about food or the desire to be thin, and they are much more widespread than commonly assumed. One out of ten women, so the current hypothesis, struggles with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating or another form of the phenomenon. Research confirms that especially those living in industrialized countries are at highest risk to be affected.

Nevertheless, the sources and effects of this illness are still highly stigmatized and excluded from societal discourse. In I want to disappear, 20 young women intimately share their testimonies. What does it feel like to be affected? How is this conflict linked to one’s own (sexual) identiy, and why does controlling one’s body help someone to feel “better”, even just for a short time?

Many interviews and an anthropological interest into the phenomenon lie at the core of this partly autobiographical project. Drawings, Texts, Sculptures and Pictures taken by the protagonists and the photographer are layered above each other in the book and wall installation.

Being able to look at the experience rather than being caught up in it – a moment of empowerment? Very soon, a new perspective is revealed: eating disorders are never a sign of weakness. And one is by no means alone with it.

Mafalda Rakoš (1994) is a documentary photographer based between Vienna and The Hague. Her work has been exhibited in Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, the Netherlands, India and the US and often results in rather complex books. I Want to Disappear was published by Edition Lammerhuber in November 2017.