“Lulled by mental barriers and illusory pretexts that we tend to impose on ourselves, we cut ourselves off from any direct responsibility; What if we ourselves were the real limit? With this project we want to open up to new frontiers that you have habitually underestimated in this period “
One year to date, where we share a situation that has highlighted many aspects not only of hygienic health, but also of mental well-being. We offer you a photographic project in which we want to share the story of Sara Baldo, a great dreamer with a great desire for independence and many projects that in an eighteen-year-old circulate around her life: driving, traveling with friends, thinking about university. , parties and skiing. In short, seen in this way it would seem a somewhat “carefree” life, albeit on January 29, 2014, however, all this stopped for a moment, when she was struck by a septic meningitis that led to the bilateral amputation of the lower limbs from the knee down and the amputation of all the phalanges of the fingers. But the desperation of the first months has given way to acceptance of the disease and at the same time to the struggle to fight it.
Process that has been made simpler thanks to the intervention of Art4sport, an ONLUS association that believes in sport as a therapy for the physical and psychological recovery of children and young people with limb prostheses. Aiming to improve the quality of life of prosthetic limb wearers and consequently that of their families, so as to be able to give a ray of hope and to be able to drastically change the life of Sara and not only, also of many other people who have lived the same path. The name “art for sport”, art for sport, arises from the active contribution that Bebe Vio, world and European champion, has been committed to giving to the organization right from the start.
Teresa and Ruggero, the parents of Beatrice Vio, took steps to learn about the reality of sports prostheses and sports aids for children with amputations.
They acknowledged that the National Health System does not provide prostheses suitable for carrying out sports activities which consequently become completely dependent on families. So to make up for this lack, in 2009, art4sport was born.
“We are our only limits”, this is Sara Baldo’s motto. This project was born from the urgency to share, even in this difficult period, the history and nuances of those who knew about their difficulties, creating a new beginning in order to overcome the obstacles that we perceive every day as a personal wall that we do not always know how to face.
Together with this project, the Milan Fencing Academy took up with great enthusiasm, which gave us the opportunity to shoot inside the room and interview some young people participating in fencing lessons, where Lorenzo Radice together with Laura Radice, Leonardo Dandolo and Luca Tagliabue (founders and president of the association) carry on their project and dream started 30 years ago: to stimulate the sporting practice of people with disabilities in a context of real integration with so-called able-bodied people. So that it can also become a second major educational objective for children and people who frequent these same places, where they have the opportunity to grow in a context of equality and inclusion, thus better understanding life with and without disabilities.
The limits that we self-impose are not always real, they are beliefs that we acquire with fear, that we have increased and that over time become more and more rooted in our experience without having reached the precipice that they delimit.
The environment in which we move, our family, our friends and our education are essential factors that bring out many limits of which we are the architects without resorting to any reflective filter. At the same time, all these factors also affect the world in which we discover our talents and how we find the activities that we are passionate about, that empower us.
Sara, what does “we are our only limits” mean to you?
Each of us creates obstacles every day, our mind creates them, limits that we can actually overcome most of the time. Few things are really impossible. I have physical limits, but I have fought against my mental limits so I feel free to be or to be able to achieve whatever I want.
What prompted you to reach this conclusion?
There was a lot of physical and psychological work that I had to do behind this awareness and I will never stop working on it to deepen this side of me that did not excel in me but that came forward in times of need, I see a lot of room for improvement.
It was not an easy path, indeed it was an up & down roller coaster but I recognize that I definitely came out unscathed, but with many external and internal scars, from a hurricane that overwhelmed me when I was just 18 years old.
The sense of independence and determination that has always characterized me since childhood pushed me from the first moment not to give up and in 2014 when I got sick, the will to live pervaded me, there was no moment in which I thought about stopping or giving up.
Lost in the hospital in moments of despair, I found the strength of my family and friends, I could read in their eyes that I was always the same, I was still there, it was always me for them but, I also felt the terror of seeing myself collapse.
The real godsend was when I discovered this world so strong and sensitive that it still seems something apart but which is part of everyone every day, the Paralympic world and disability, it is not a communitỳ apart, it is a facet of the world like all the shades that compose it. Everyone should have a little bit of this part of the world in them to better appreciate life and whoever inhabits it.
How do you project yourself into your future?
Every day I commit myself to enjoy the precious present and work towards the future, I work by training myself to achieve important goals, we must always set ourselves ambitious goals, to start, because it is hunger that feeds us that makes us take an extra step every day to move forward .
I always hope this freedom to be able to pursue my dreams because I have always believed in the phrase “wanting is power” and if you don’t believe it who should believe it.
If you had to give a suggestion to the new generations to face their limitations, what would it be?
Sara: Always try to pursue what̀ that makes your eyes shine, what̀ that makes you alive when you do it, that gives you satisfaction, that gives you a reason to wake up in the morning, chase it and never leave it̀ because it is the essence of life , will fill your heart with joy.
You can do whatever you want if you really want it, the goal in life is just to be happy, focus on this.
Francesca (student), blind:
“The advice I would like to give to the new generations is certainly to break away from technology, because sometimes we become its slaves, to start socializing more with people and appreciate everyone’s particularities. Another important thing is to experiment in order to get to know each other, find new hobbies and create goals. ”
Ivan (university student), invalid:
“During this time we have discovered what we really really need, who we miss the most and realized which people really matter. But above all we have understood what we lack in life by radically changing our conception. As a suggestion for the new generations I say to cling to something that makes us feel alive, that can somehow break the monotony that binds us in our home walls. For me, coming here to fencing, for example, is an escape from my small reality and is something completely different than being in front of the TV at home. I recommend you take risks! You have nothing to lose if you think about it. ”
Susy (Dance teacher), invalid:
“Working as a dance teacher, I am facing difficulties in explaining and approaching with students through the online teaching tools because the relationship is becoming more and more passive. The advice I would like to give is to be more interactive, not only through the screen of your PC, but certainly to resume that sociability that we once cultivated naturally. In addition, I would like to say to definitely go out more, where possible, even just to do sports or errands. ”
Art Director & Stylist Alessandro Travaini
Photographer & DOP Michele Arrabito
Talent Sara Baldo
Make-up artist Davide Perfetti
Photographer assistant Giorgia Matrobardi
Location Accademia scherma Milano
Clothes C.rusade, Louise Jarrige, Miaoran studio, Jessica Pan, Sofia Interligi