Therese Alice Sanne is a freelance photographer who lives in Trondheim. She was educated in Photojournalism at Oslo University College, and she works for the newspaper VG, among others.

In her application, Therese writes about her motivation for NJP and her meeting with the legendary photographer Martin Parr.

He was of the opinion that it might look as though there was only one ‘right path’, a doctrine, for how photographers in Norway take photographs and tell stories.

“I assume that what he said was an exaggeration of the truth, but it was nonetheless a version of the truth. I have thought about that a great deal since then.”

Therese Alice Sanne would like to explore what it is that is happening in society today that is causing mental illness in so many young people. One of five Norwegian adolescents states that they have mental issues, ME, eating disorders, anxiety, depression or are harming themselves.

Sanne’s project mainly consists of two parts/methods: In the first part, we meet those who are ill and hear their stories. In the second, she turns camera in the other direction, examining society. She wants to use their stories and experiences to refocus on society. Take a step back and try to identify other contexts. Depict.

“Mental illness is something that primarily takes place in the mind. While it is not possible to photograph thoughts, there are numerous side effects of mental illness that are visible. I think it might be helpful to do things in an ‘atypical’ manner. Instead of looking at our presence and our potential influence on the situation as a disadvantage when we are out taking photographs, I would prefer to use the meetings as an opportunity to tell about something unique, a subjective story that emerges in the interface between two individuals”, Sanne writes in her project description.

She would like to include those she meets in the project so they can help tell their own stories. They have to tell her how it feels to be them when they are hurting the most. From there, Sanne will explore how this can be expressed in pictures of those who are sick. In this way, they maintain their integrity and she avoids being pathologised. In his book Anxiety—an odyssey through the modern self, Finn Skårderud writes why it can be a challenge for the individual to maintain mental health in today’s society:

“The present is an incredible place to be. Modern culture is exceptional from an historical perspective. It is a culture that takes its ideals and collective images from something that does not yet exist: i.e. from the future. The essence of modern is to break with tradition, replacing it with change and turnover. The present is no place to stay. Unrest is therefore a cultural imperative, not merely coincidental. It is both an effect and a side effect. We trust in development.”