The wrinkled person with oversized ears in this picture, who has taken his bike for a bath in Lake Constance, is nine years old. His name is Mohamad and he suffers from cutis laxa, a rare genetic skin disorder that makes him look like an old man.
Mohamad and his family are refugees from Syria. They lived in Turkey for a couple of years, before they were taken in by Austria. He tried to go to school in Turkey but had to stop because he couldn’t stand it any longer being constantly laughed at. In Austria, he says, everything is better.
German photographer Marlena Waldthausen accompanied Mohamad’s family over a period of time, first while they lived in a little mountain village, later in the city of Bregenz where Mohamad now lives under medical observation. The good news: his internal organs are not affected by his genetic disorder. However, his mother’s hope that European state-of-the-art medicine could help him look like a normal child has not been fulfilled.
Curriculum Vitae: Marlena Waldthausen (FH Hannover)
2008-2012 Regionalwissenschaften Lateinamerika, Universität zu Köln - 2012-2017 Fotojournalismus und Dokumentarfotografie Hochschule Hannover.
Seit 2017 Freelance Fotografin, vor allem tätig für die Holländische Zeitung de Volkskrant - Kunden/Publikationen: Geo, Stern, de Morgen, de Volkskrant, Knack, Volkskrant Magazine, CNN, Photographie uvm.
Nominiert für Joop Swart Masterclass 2017, Freelance-award Nominierung, Gewinnerin Feature Shoot Emerging Photographer, Gewinnerin PDN Emerging Photographer Fall 2018 etc.
Ausstellungen Solo und Gruppen national und international.