Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Dreaming With Open Eyes

Photo taken by contributor Riccardo Bevilacqua, a 39-year-old nuclear physicist currently living between Sweden and Belgium. Riccardo loves to travel, and take photos of local people wherever he goes. He worked for many years in his local community with people affected by physical and mental impairments, and he understands and is sensitive to the challenges that the families have to face, often alone. The apartment where he is living now is actually part of an old psychiatric hospital. The municipality decided to refurbish a wing of the building as a residential area, whereas the rest of the former hospital is now adapted as a museum. Geel, the town in which he lives in Belgium, is known for the practice of deinstitutionalization in psychiatric care, and this dates back since the 13th century! Still now-a-days 500 families in Geel alone, host a psychiatric patient in their house, where they live as members of the family itself.

About this photo: “These two photos are part of a series focused on dreams and imagination. I do often dream with open eyes, and I like to think that this allows me to understand better the reality beyond the world around us. A friend who suffered from depression told me that she was constantly feeling away from the reality around her: she was able to act and do things in the short moments when she was coming back “here.” I tried to portray these feelings in my images.

Find more at Riccardo’s website.

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7 comments on “Dreaming With Open Eyes

  1. spartacus2030
    April 29, 2014

    Being a weirdo myself, I can relate to the confusion, fear and physical pain that depression causes me! Thank you for the valuable input. I truly appreciate that others are beginning to see how truly debilitating this disease is; like a wound that won’t heal, it even feels cancerous…

    Like

  2. spencersamalvin
    April 29, 2014

    I, another “weirdo”, can definitely relate to this offering- thanks, Riccardo! Depression sucks, and don’t let anyone tell you that you ought to just fight it or pull yourself up by your bootstraps or something like that . . . it requires understanding & treatment. I saw something on TV in the past few yrs. on the care of psychiatric patients in the town of Geel & I think that that is one of the most spiritually healing realities that I’ve ever been exposed to . . . I appreciate your work & your sharing of it here, Riccardo -please keep it up, bro.! Sam

    Like

  3. Paula McLane Jennings
    April 29, 2014

    fascinating eyes! You capture the confusion in her beautiful eyes.

    Like

  4. Sunflower
    April 29, 2014

    These photos are incredibly powerful and relate-able to me. I, too, often feel so far away from reality. These pictures capture that sensation strikingly well. And they are simply beautiful in a photographic way, as well.

    Like

  5. sureba67
    April 30, 2014

    Reblogged this on Journey Of A Nifty Day Trader and commented:
    Dazzling eyes, lovely shot…

    Like

  6. Mary Strong-Spaid
    May 2, 2014

    Yes….the eyes in these photos are so expressive. I feel like this sometimes!
    Life is a long dream, that often doesn’t make sense.

    Like

  7. luro97
    May 8, 2014

    Love the photo.Haunting eyes.

    Like

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