Inside the walls of a geriatric hospital in France, time stands still. Light falls across two stockinged feet on a bed. The fading floral pattern on a swath of wallpaper is interrupted by an unused corkboard. And between these scenes of stillness, residents approach a pair of locked doors with modest curiosity, expectation and even anger.
Swedish photographer Maja Daniels says those doors, which were locked to prevent the residents from wandering, were crucial early in the project.
“I found myself on the other side of those doors looking at someone looking at me, waving at me to get my attention and not knowing why,” Daniels says. “That vision just stuck with me.”
Daniels is the inaugural winner of the Bob and Diane Fund, a $5,000 grant for visual storytelling about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. National Geographic’s Gina Martin started the fund this year and named it in honor of her mother, Diane, who died from Alzheimer’s in 2011, and her father, Robert.
“It’s very hard to document Alzheimer’s disease,” Martin said. “I think people will find [Maja’s] work to be very smart, fresh and modern.”