DULE – a boy with a smile

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Unfortunately, Bosnian society is still very stigmatized when it comes to a theme of children with special needs and children with mental disorders. I went to a special school with an idea to show the energy and sensibility of the children and people who work with them, juxtaposed with a conditions they are dealing with. Initially, I’ve got a permit to photograph but in a few hours I was told that maybe it is not a good idea and not to do it anymore  (opinion of a special school director). I was disappointed and frustrated why people are so narrow-minded and suspicious.

Dule is a ten year old boy who caught my attention from the moment he entered a training room. First thing I noticed was that great and  affectioned smile. He came to ask me who am I and to tell me his name and went to play. I was petrified. I was expecting anything but this. I thought that they will be shy, closed, unreachable (and there are some kids that are very into their worlds), but that huge smile totally disarmed me.

I tried to be as much as unnoticed as I can be and leave them to do their therapy. But Dule was intrigued by my camera and I gave it to him. That huge smile he has all the time on his face became colossal. He was overwhelmed by the fact that he can capture a moment that stays forever in some strange box. With each picture he took, energy was stronger in that room. And just a few clicks after, everybody was smiling.

I would like to thank Žarko and Zorica who showed me a world that need to be showed and understood, and thank you Dule for making me smiling so sincere. I’ll be back there for sure. Somehow I’ll find a way.