‘In the Hands of the Father’: Photos of My Dad’s Battle with Alzheimer’s

My names is Mario Zorzi, and I’m a 33-year-old amateur film photographer living in Verona, Italy. I’m currently working on a project about my dad’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

The title of my project, “Nelle mani del Padre” (“In the hands of the Father”), is an alteration of the Catholic invocation “in the name of the Father”. The reason I chose this title is because I have what could be considered an obsession with hands and gestures.

I started taking pictures of my dad back in 2011, and the start was casual and natural. As time went on, awareness of what I was doing grew, and with the help and support from my friends, I decided to try to do something beyond taking random shoots — I decided to try to create something more organic and complete.

I embarked on my very first photographic project. I am using hands as a “tool”, a way to document the progression of Alzheimer’s as well as the everyday life of both my father and my mother, who is the caregiver and who copes with every kind of needs he has.

“In the hands of the Father” is being shot mostly using a Canon AE1 with a 50mm lens and Fomapan 400 film (a few photos here are there are being made with a Minox 35ML and a Polaroid Spectra). I also take care of the developing process.

I hope that all the pictures I am taking can help me and my mother, in the future, to better understand and process the emotions and the events we are now experiencing.

About the author: Mario Zorzi is a photographer based in Verona, Italy. You can find more of his work on his Flickr and Instagram.