On Elderly Abuse (Paper Thin by Gemma-Rose Turnbull)
Australian photography Gemma-Rose Turnbull's project Paper Thin brings light to a subject that rarely gets attention in the world of photography. The project is collaborative, both documentary and participatory, and it gives us enough context and story to allow the viewer to fill in the blanks.
I'll allow Gemma-Rose to set the stage with her writing about the work:
"When I tell people what I am photographing they look at me askance. “Elder abuse? What’s that?” The very few who don’t question the term whisper their own tremulous tale. From this I glean that unless someone you know, be it through family or work, has had his or her vulnerability taken advantage of, then you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about.
So I find a generic explanation, one I rattle off to everyone, quickly offloading it, without breath or pause: “Elder abuse is any act within a relationship of trust which results in harm to an older person. The most common forms of elder abuse include physical abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse and neglect.” It does the job but it’s not the whole story.
Almost more important than giving these people a voice to tell their stories, is the hope that their stories will make people remember that age and vulnerability does not diminish a person’s worth. "