Childhoodless Disease: Fighting Polio in Ehtiram Jabi’s Series
Ehtiram Jabi was only two years old when he got sick with polio, and it changed his life forever. While other boys and girls of his age were enjoying their childhood, Ehtiram was going through painful procedures in dirty hospital rooms. He conveys his pain and endless despair in his photographs.
Photographer from Azerbaijan, was born and lives in Baku. Studies Tourism and Hotel Management in one of Baku’s universities. In 2013, developed an interest in photography. As a freelance photojournalist, worked for Reuters, RFE/ RL’s Azerbaijani Service, ANN. His work was displayed during group exhibitions in Russia, Georgia, and Turkey. Won the Hope award from the Azerbaijan Union of Photographers in 2015.
— For me, my childhood years can be considered as the most important and solvent period of an each individual. Any incident happening during this period can totally change one’s future and maybe even follow them to death. The story of an incident I am going to narrate happened in my early childhood and left a big mark in my life. The ruthless poliomyelitis disease had caught me when I was just in the second year of my life and preluded the unsteady lifetime story of mine.
On my 2nd birthday, in 1998, my health condition got worse and it was just a few weeks prior to my hospital adventures lasting for years. I was treated every summer for more than ten years. While all of my friends were having fun during the most enjoyable time of the year, I’d get various injections and would be covered in very hot rags as part of the process.
If you ask me to talk about my childhood summer memories, the first things that come to my mind would be dirty hospital rooms, doctors working there, painful treatments, and eternal despair. That unbearable despair is able to conquer all my thoughts and feelings.
Even though the physical pain I’d endured started to fade away from my mind after some period of time, the disease caused hardships and miserable memories which are still alongside me throughout my life. These photos are the mirrors reflecting my soul.