Female professional, born in Peru, living in London, age 50

 

I was born in Peru in the 1960's and have lived in Italy and in England for around 27 years.  I don't feel I belong to any country and I like to consider myself a person of the world.  I work in the finance sector. 

 

What is it in your life that you think you have in common with the person who once owned this object?  I think we are both religious and care about people.

 

Who do you think owned this object? Describe the person—the age, gender etc. I believe the beads belonged to a woman in her 40's. Probably a married woman, housewife with young children. 

 

Under what circumstances do you think it was left behind? Was it intentional? I feel that when someone is going through suffering, hunger, distress, extreme sadness and despair, and there is absence of hope, material things are no longer important and not essential... and probably was left behind unintentionally. 

 

What objects would you take with you if you only had a back-pack and had to make a long, uncertain and possibly dangerous journey and it was doubtful you were going to be able to return to your home? Why would you bring this object?

 

1. I would bring with me my rosary beads. (Prayer would strengthen me)

2. A thick coat and comfortable shoes. (For the winter cold days)

3. Mobile phone (even though I would know I would not have service) 

4. Pen and paper  to write notes 

5. Passport (an ID in the hope to reach a safe place to live and settle)

 

Was there a moment when you had a profound insight? What were the circumstances? Where were you? What triggered the thought? I felt deep sadness when I was in front of a few objects that were left behind... I had too choose one of them... only one... I saw some toys, and some jewellery, children's clothes and I could visualise these objects once belonged to happy people that were now going through very distressful times and as I chose one object only, it felt I was betraying the owners of the other objects, almost as when holding the objects in my hands I was in a way holding hands with those in need of a helping hand.   I felt deeply sad and frustrated for not being able to do more to help.

 

What were you thinking when you were photographed? I was feeling I needed to do something to ease the suffering of the refugees.  I wanted to be able to offer them love and comfort. To protect them.  I prayed for them.

 

Why did you choose this object? I would have chosen a similar one.

 

Have your thoughts about people feeing conflict and/or seeking a better life changed since you have been carrying this object? In what way? What did you think before? What do you think now? Yes. And I feel privileged to have gone through this exercise as it has opened my eyes to a reality I was seeing from a distance and has touched and moved my heart. 

MT