A Father Photographs the World of His Autistic Son
The photographer Thimothy Archibald shares with us his interesting and moving project. In his series ‘Echolilia’, Archibald explores his relationship with his autistic son Elijah. He started to photograph Elijah when he was only 5. However, back then, Archibald’s goal was nothing but sheer documentation. Elijah, who suffers from autism, was socially withdrawn, obsessed with mechanical objects, and had a ritual need for repetition. Archibald photographed his son and showed the pictures to different behavioral specialists who confirmed that he was on the autistic spectrum.
He started by capturing some of Elijah’s rituals which used to drive Archibald crazy. As Archibald explains, Elijah did things with his body and they just could not make him stop. For instance, he would teeter on the edge of the sofa, or lie down on the grass in the garden to listen to music every day. He would also curl up inside a plastic toy container, a ritual that resulted in one of the most moving photos of the series.