Photography as therapy

As we reported, the Andalusian Institute of Yoga and Yoga network have called an I Photo and Video Contest dedicated to Yoga and meditation. While we are still receiving original works until June 20, we share the story of Carlos Canal, physician, hematologist and photographer.

Yoga fotografia

We knew the history of the medical hematologist and photographer Carlos Canal Thanks to Joaquín G. Weil, founder of YogaSala Malaga and great promoter of the photography competition to which we have referred. Joaquin sent us the link to the journal the text of which we share below. We also recommend that you not miss this beautiful video "The art of cure" we later discovered on YouTube:

And this is the text of written by Gema Martínez with Álvaro Cabrera photos. It is entitled: "Carlos Canal, hematologist and therapeutic photographer: the doctor who depicted their patients".

Imagine that you have appointment with a specialist because they have detected her anemia. You will reach the query and is accompanied by the person that is more confident. The doctor attends the traditional way, but when it finishes, the specialist asked: «Les can I do a photo?».
The scene happened - more than one time- and that specialist was Carlos Canal in the 1980s. Now, three decades later, those scenes will come to head to remind him that it was as he began to mix photography and medicine: "Yes, so was". He says that then even it approached him sense that action: "I was a doctor, was working in a hospital and those were my patients. I was limited to document it like so many other things in my life".

It was not until 1999 when Carlos Canal, hematologist, photographer, Finder and curious, raised a research work to document the therapeutic effects of the art of photography in the context of the disease, "know if it served to make the patients to regain their identity, express emotions, improve their quality of life". He presented the project to the health research fund, but not awarded the scholarship because, as he says, not it seemed with serious work.

Five years later it was published Retrieve the light, a book in which Rosa Ramiro, one of his patients with leukemia, portrays and recounts his disease process from an absolutely new, creative and vital look and where it counts how newly released their hospital patient's condition came into his room a peculiar type which arose as your doctor and that brought hung around the neck a camera.
Type, you know, was Carlos, and the resulting workbook that begins with the following sentence of the patient: "Some time ago had fortunate to fall seriously ill".

Suffer to learn

«Unfortunately, learning always comes through suffering», says Carlos Canal. And confirms it: "always, always". Disease, adds, is a State that makes us suffer, and is also an opportunity for learning, knowledge. And suffering and loss and learning he knows much.

A great loss defined his fledgling medical vocation: "thirteen years occurred a tragic event in my family. Died of cancer an aunt of mine who was like my second mother. It gave me much pain lose that way a person that loved. I saw her suffer and deteriorate and I felt helpless. He decided to study medicine, a vocation already pointed to by the reference of a father who did not become a doctor, but loved he the world related to pharmacy, medicine and therapies.

Over time, which is how you know these things, Carlos Canal has known that the father figure was decisive not only to show you the professional way but also to determine his photographic passion: "he was an incredible photography amateur and in fact I have a family album of photos done by him which is very rare". Still have the memory of seeing him reveal: «guess that all that was there, somewhere in the brain, in which, without knowing it, we already had the alien's photography», recounts.

Still likes to use the analog camera when you work with the therapeutic aspect of photography: «one of the qualities of photography that continues to fascinate me is that latency that is between the instant in which you make a photo and the time in which you look at it ". When you work with patients use this space so that they draw up texts by way of foot of photos: «An image triggers a State that makes your mind to develop a text that comes from within. Photography would be the fuse that makes explode something that is within".

The unconscious

Carlos Canal refers to the unconscious, to that shadow Jungian, all those qualities which one day we hide so that we do not reject; envy, pride, hatred, anger or rage and also, why not, to force, courage or the value.

Five years ago, this hematologist/photographer or photographer/hematologist had an accident that almost cost him his life: "I think that in some way I was responsible for my accident. There are moments in which you are blind and yet not Thomas a decision; then life takes it for you», he says.

The key is not in what happens but in what we do with them that it happens to us, it comes to summarize, after ensuring that it is in permanent crisis: "it is curious that we describe the State of 'normality' as a fanciful welfare state. The hack has to arrive, because life is a dynamic process in which things happen so that we can be aware of what we are."

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