When photojournalist Nancy Borowick’s parents Howie and Laurel were diagnosed with stage IV cancer and simultaneously underwent treatment, she did the only thing she knew how – she documented it. By turning the camera on her family’s life during this most intimate time, Borowick learned a great deal about herself, family, and relationships in general. Nancy Borowick will present her book and will be interviewed by Edie Peters (PhotoQ) and Lars Boering (World Press Photo).
The impressive pictures in Borowick’s book, The Family Imprint, are of her parents and their changing relationship after the cancer diagnoses. Borowick—who always has a camera slung over her shoulder—first began taking photos of her parents as a way to spend more time with them during their treatment.
The artist realised that the story she was documenting was not just a documentary of the illness. Rather, it was about family, her family, and living life in this new reality. Her parents were always more than their illnesses, and strongly refused to be defined solely by them. Love and their shared suffering bore them up to the end.
‘As a child, I simply couldn’t imagine life without my parents. I assumed that they would be there for every important milestone in my life, and that they would grow old together. I never thought that I would lose them both by the time I was twenty-nine.’
The story is about life and love more than cancer and death. In a sense, it reads and feels like a scrapbook—and is filled with decades of saved loved letters, keepsakes and other clues about our lives, enriching the larger story which I had been photographing for a few years already. The project, which was formally known as Cancer Family Ongoing, was published nationally and internationally, including multiple pieces in the New York Times and has received international awards and recognition.
Afterwards books will be available and the photographer will be glad to sign copies.
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