Snezhana von Büdingen-Dyba, a German-Russian photographer born in 1983, has been documenting the life of Sofie, a young woman with Down syndrome since 2017: “When I started taking photographs of Sofie, she was 18 years old. She had just left school and spent most of her days at the family property in a small village in eastern Germany. Sofie comes from a famous family of antique dealers and grew up in the magical atmosphere of this farmhouse. For four years, at the rhythm of my regular visits to Sofie and her family, I lived their daily life and shared with Sofie the joys and sorrows of her first romantic experience. She was then going through that thankless, and at the same time beautiful and exhilarating age, where from a young girl one becomes a woman, where each feeling is experienced with extreme intensity, and where love seems the raison d'etre of life. »
It is through an immersion in the world of Sofie, through the observation of her gestures and her reactions to the unfolding of reality, that the scenes depicted here have been captured. As Snezhana says, "Sofie's photographs stem from our deep mutual trust and intimacy."
The most powerful aspect of this series is undeniably the universality of the story it tells. "Everyone remembers this intensity of feelings from adolescence, and for my part I completely recognize myself at this age in Sofie", explains Snezhana, while hoping that others, faced with these images, will also succeed. to recognize their own experience, and that "this approach removes all artificial boundaries based on prejudice and ignorance, and contributes to bringing people to a higher level of tolerance, integration and love.