How it all began?
I`ll start by stating my name, Oana. I have taken up on photography in a time in which nothing was working out for me. Being 15 and having a lot of questions about life I grabbed the camera and started letting my frustrations out through it. It helped a whole lot to cope with the society we live in. The beauty of photography kept me busy enough to put everything in order, as I have never been very sociable or talkative. It healed wounds I didn`t even knew I had.
At 24, after 9 years of photography, I remembered everything it did for me and I started looking for ways in which it could help others as well. In that period of time a lot of cases of children and people with autism were present in almost every new report on TV. I have never been around someone with autism before so I was walking into an uncharted territory even for me, the person who dives head first in everything she feels like it can work out. I stepped into it carefully trying to understand the phenomenon first.
I still remember the day I first met a kid with autism. She was 5 and beautiful with a bright smile on her face. She launched herself into my arms smiling up at me and muttering sounds I didn`t understand. My heart melted in an instant and that was the second I finally understood why I wanted to do this so badly. I knew it would mean a lot of work from my part as photography isn`t the easiest thing to teach kids to do, but I somehow felt confident that the kids will be okay.
Two boys and a girl joined me in this crazy and beautiful ride called “Constanta through the eyes of autism” and along with the people I have surrounded myself with, we formed a beautiful and united family.
They blew my mind away. They made me see the city through their eyes and I felt like I’ve never seen it as beautiful as it looked in their photos. These kids deserve the world, if not even more. They deserve love, encouragement and patience. Their creativity is amazing and the fact that they only let me show them which button to push and ran away to take photos made me realize that their understanding of the outside world is greater than we think it is.
They have this unique way of looking at the world and as they present it through the help of Photo Voice therapy people get to enter this world of theirs.
The society we live in is kidnapping autistic children of the opportunity to excel in a variety of fields, although if you stay near them a greater amount of time, you can see that their minds can move mountains, that their positivity is infectious and that their eyes speak truths unknown to us.
If at first it was just me and a couple of my friends trying to make it happen, over the years our family grew bigger and stronger. Since 2017 Music for Autism and Fractal Media, WeCare4Seb, Sebastian Stan Fanclub, The Library have become our trusting partners and have helped a great deal to make things happen. I am so grateful to have them in my life and to fight together to change the world one photo at a time.Music for Autism is a project started in 2012 with the purpose of helping kids with autism and other disabilities. The funds that were raised during 3 years have helped at the opening of a mini confectionery and pastry lab that help the socio-professional life of kidswith disabilities from the "Albatros" Education Center, Constanta, in the realization of a sensory stimulation hall in the "Monte Montessori" School of Inclusive Education Constanta and in the support of some therapies by means of hyppotherapy. The main purpose of Music for Autism is to make a music room for kids with autism and disabilities from Constanta.
All funds go towards The Day Center for Children with Autism Constanta.