Back to The Project
When I started this project I didn't know where it would end up, or who would be in it.
A lot of the participants were friends and people I've worked with before. Some people surprised me by signing up, some people seemed so obvious a fit that no one was surprised.
It is a project that intended from the start to illustrate different kinds of strength, I was still surprised when Anna signed up near the end.
That's her on the bottom (left).
I've known Anna for years. She was one of the early volunteers when I started doing photography seriously.
And then she went off to circus school, where she grew into a powerful stage performer, able to carry a stack of people, and then touch her bum to the back of her head.
Years later, right before the Project kicked off early in 2018, Anna's long suffering back was starting to be an immediate problem.
She'd had a pair of disc bulges since 2011. In 2017 the pain grew steadily worse and she had an MRI scan at the end of the year.
Completely coincidentally, that same day, "My legs became numb and paralyzed, and I couldn't stand or walk."
A few days later, she checked in to the hospital. That same afternoon, they operated, and removed a 5cm chunk from her spine.
Her rehabilitation was long and difficult. It was twenty days before she could use crutches, and for four months she couldn't walk without them.
Another four months with a cane, and she finally felt somewhat stable in November, 11 months after the operation.
And that same month, she came in to shoot for the Pantheon Project. I asked her why.
"I think I needed the ego boost. I needed to feel noticed.
"I want people to know what happened to me and to alter their training behaviour because they’re scared it’ll happen to them."
Anna says: Pay attention to your body.
I couldn't be happier or more proud to call her my friend.
Why Do It
Note from NFG
Next: Note from NFG
A book is being considered. If you'd like to hear about it, or discuss the project, (or sign up for the next one!) please do use this form, or check out NFGphoto on social media.