Carlos Javier Ortiz | Too Young to Die

"It doesn’t hurt! You get tired from every single physical effort – there are no symptoms, no pain. It’s an invisible disease, symptoms become manifest when you are already in an advanced stage, when you cannot turn back, so you try to get on with it and adapt.”

My name is Luna Coppola. I am 32 years old. I’m a photojournalist and at the same time I have been chronically ill since 2004. In these years and especially in the last year, since the start of dialysis until the arrival of the transplant, I have realized that as a photojournalist I had to tell this story. So I started from my personal experience as a CKD sufferer, showing the most relevant phases I have experienced until now, my choice to use peritoneal dialysis, the onset of therapy and the insertion of the catheter, the homecoming, my difficulties in accepting the situation.

I have chosen the technique of self-portraiture to tell my story, which allows me to reveal the waiting, the exhaustion, but also the strength of countless others facing the illness every day. I started to take pictures of myself when I was at a pre-dialysis stage and every new image has added to a series of diary entries. This process has created a relationship between the camera and this chronic disease. I see self-portraiture as a way of participating in the story, a way to deal with the fear one feels when faced by something unknown. It is a project, which testifies to the connection to life by means of a machine.

– Luna Coppola

Luna Coppola (b. 1980 Napoli, Italy) is a documentary photographer. She holds a degree in Humanity and History of Cinema from the Bologna University. She has worked for a number of Italian movie production companies and assisted various directors of photography. In 2005 she directed her first documentary film.

In 2006, Coppola relocated to Barcelona, Spain, where she works as a photojournalist for differents press agencies. She is a member of Workshophotolab, which organizes workshops for social photography. "Connected to Self-Life and Re-Life" will participate in the Perugia Social Photo Fest and will be published as a book by Giorgio Bonomi. Currently Coppola is working on an autobiographical photography project.