Lionel Jusseret

2010 - 2017

It is said that there are as many autisms as there are autistic people.

At the association J’interviendrais where I photographed, worked and lived for almost eight years, I met children with autism. Many of them had a severe form of autism, mostly non-verbal. But also other children who are said to be psychotic, schizophrenic, with behavioral disorder, abused, homeless, unbearable, deficient and all words that our western society finds to define people that can't be defined. Sick people.

And me, the more I see them and the more I think they just look like children.

Children of stateless culture, extraordinary, sincere, raw, wild, for the better and for the worse and with a indefinable mystery that escapes to medicine, science or any other rationality.

We are talking about autism.

This mystery, this enigma I tried to capture by the silent form of photography.

I know the territory: the light, the seasons and the field of the north, center and south of France. I search something unpredictable: a gesture, an attitude, a look from them.

I took the time. It was the children who imposed it on me. Just like the relationship. The quest for balance in this particular relationship is illusory. But sometimes, as if by magic, it is a counter-gift that I couldn't surpass, as a demonstration of their power as little gods.

But none of these clichés will do honor to their fantasy of indefinable children, so exceptional, so unique. Because violence wins over sweetness. The suffering is right there and in this case, there is no lack of words to describe it neither. Hiding this part of them would not do them justice. Or by dint, they may become sick for real.

The words. If the words measure the gap between them and us, then no more words.

Just the silence of their eyes.

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