A Journey Through Scoliosis

A Multi-disciplinary Art Project

Just like the branches of the trees, routes of the rivers, and the paths the wind creates on the sand, curved spines are beautiful. They each have a story to tell.

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Saghi's Journey 10
Melika Hemmat & Saghi Ehteshamzadeh
2021

A Journey Through Scoliosis art project started with my personal mental journey through scoliosis.I have been dealing with scoliosis since I was seven years old. Throughout these years, aside from the dreadful physical pain that I have experienced, there’ve been mental challenges. Especially during my teenage years, I had a poor body image because of my curved spine. I was ashamed to wear clothes that showed my body, embarrassed to wear swimsuits, and disliked my body and posture. However, after getting to know my body more and after being introduced to Iyengar yoga, I slowly stopped hating my half-moon-shaped spine. One day, as I looked at my body in the mirror, I realized how beautiful the curve on my back was and how it reminded me of all the curved lines in nature, like the spinal leaves of flowers. That’s where A Journey Through Scoliosis started. With a photo, I decided to put my scoliosis under the spotlight. So, with this project, I aim to praise scoliosis bodies, display their beauty, and raise awareness of scoliosis and its mental side effects. Anxiety and having a poor body image are two of the most common mental side effects of scoliosis. I have been dealing with severe anxiety for a long time, and only after getting to know my curved spine did I realize a significant part of my anxiety comes from my scoliosis. Speaking to people with scoliosis, I discovered that they, too, have been struggling with anxiety and poor body image. We only realize we are going through the same thing; we experience the same barriers and fight the same battles once we share our mental journeys. Therefore, a prominent part of this project is based on shared experiences. This project is an invitation through art for all scoliosis bodies to share their mental journeys with scoliosis and embrace their curves.

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For the first part collection of this project, I collaborated with Melika Hemmat, an Iranian photographer who is experienced in capturing bodies. And for the second part of it, I collaborated with Nikki Schenk, a contemporary dancer with scoliosis, and Natalie Janzen, who has a unique vision in photography. Two series of photographs were born out of these collaborations, which were exhibited at the Penticton Art Gallery in September 2022.

Saghi's Journey 8
Melika Hemmat & Saghi Ehteshamzadeh
2021

Saghi's Journey 11
Melika Hemmat & Saghi Ehteshamzadeh
2021

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Nikki's Journey 8
Natalie Janzen & Saghi Ehteshamzadeh
2022

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Nikki's Journey 5
Natalie Janzen & Saghi Ehteshamzadeh
2022

A Journey Through Scoliosis - Vision #1

A Journey Through Scoliosis - Vision #1

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A Journey Through Scoliosis - Vision #2

A Journey Through Scoliosis - Vision #2

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A Journey Through Scoliosis - Vision #3

A Journey Through Scoliosis - Vision #3

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A Journey Through Scoliosis - Vision #4

A Journey Through Scoliosis - Vision #4

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