by Sari Nyman (Finland)
“Hello from Finland. My name is Sari. My breast cancer was diagnosed in January 2016 at the age of 46, soon with bone metastasis. Two years later I moulded a figure as an alter ego to mirror my experiences of both side mastectomy. Then I started to take pictures from the figure in nature. Later on I set it on paper on my desk and started to take pictures frame by frame.
I did name my animation movie Daily Living (although) for a reason. Cancer touches every part of your daily life. Although in headline means disease you live with. The surgery part and the cancer treatments in my animation were last to be done. And I felt really sick afterwards. One of my friends said: It is so absurd that breasts just leave and you are only target of operations.
In the end of the movie comes green comfort and care. I’m lucky to live here in Äkäslompolo next to Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. I’m sure that it plays important part in my recovery. In nature I do find more understanding about being part of something bigger – circle of life.
Visual thinking has always helped me to deal with my emotions. A movement, picture, sound, shapes, words… We know that using various creative techniques has lot to give when your body image is broken and you are filled with fear. Hopefully these physically and mentally powerful tools will be part of treatment guidelines and known better by medical professionals in future..
Making this hand-woven animation was like a long-time dream coming true. Now I trust more to my talents. I also learned a lot more about animation making. It also helped me to keep focus on future. I worked as private occupational therapist before my diagnosis. At the moment I’m hoping to create more these visual tools for well-being of others.
I’m grateful that I can share this with you all. Sharing is supporting, as we know.”