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A Healing Path

Editorial for Wül magazine

Août 2022

A Healing Path is a story about Marie's rehabilitation process, during which she became deeply aware of the power of love and the enduring path of healing, growing through pain and power, but specially going back to unity and gathering with close family and friends, as Marie writes in her diary, “All the love that comes out of this accident, it’s unbelievable.” The process of healing from her third degree burnt body became for Marie not only a physical journey but also a mental one that enabled Marie to reach a better understanding of her story as revealed through written words in her diary and was captured on camera. 

Marie: When thinking of this project and sharing my story with Pauline, I wanted it to be as authentic to myself as possible. This is why I chose to directly deep dive into the essence of the purest of my feelings: those I wrote in my diary. I never knew those lines were going to be shared or read one day, but it was important for me to reveal them for Pauline to understand what needed to be captured.


"I spent my new year in the small room, 21, in the intensive burns care unit of Paris. Actually, I don’t really know where to start. Start again from my accident? My daily routine at the hospital? The feeling of burning? Or the understanding that it’s in pain that we can obtain love. All the love that comes out of this accident, it’s unbelievable.

I appreciate this last night with my hair."

Marie: I wanted to share both aspects of this story: the pain and the wound on one side, love and healing on the other. Both sides are a part of this healing journey. But I wanted to share specifically about love and togetherness, which were the most important notions for me to share with Pauline and to remember from all this. 

Pauline: The narrative unfolded from what Marie felt like sharing with me and the camera. She talked about wounds but also about love, self-love, and what is shared with others. It was Marie’s first time revealing her wound, and it was very important to me to let her have the space and comfort to reveal her body in her own way. So we started smoothly, in my apartment, between songs and a long talk, to take off layers of clothes and slowly follow the daylight going into the night while unfolding the story from standing in the living room, lying down in a bed, 'nue,' like Marie’s last months. Everything was so subtle, and I wanted to be very attentive to Marie’s rhythm and when she would be ready to let her wound and body be seen — simple and raw. 

Pauline: "I had to follow and gently capture what she offered, be patient, and carry with the body being revealed. It’s like witnessing a leaf-thinning where the notion of wound and healing are balancing and mirroring one another. It’s a question of revealing the unseen by allowing space and time for it to appear, just like you observe the picture coming to life while developing film.

With analogue photography especially, the notion of time is very important already in its process. It’s very symbolic, developing isn’t only about technically revealing an image; it’s a whole play with darkness and time, gentleness and patience to let out a moment captured in light, as a tangible image. In its symbolism, it’s like keeping a physical and tangible trace of the present that has already vanished.


The same goes for our wounds, which transform with time

and memory."

Marie: "There are moments with and moments without. Some days I don’t care, and somewhere I deeply wonder why… I hope to be able to rise from my ashes and not be scared in the morning to burn myself with my tea."

The topics of memory and change are presented in the form of healing and the concept of beauty (as perceived by the subject and the viewer). There is also an idea of covering and revealing the wound, the feeling of comfort in a safe environment of an apartment, and the softness of fabrics chosen that protect from any possible painful experience.


Pauline: This project englobes endurance and change in these different forms while it speaks about the inner process of healing, accepting change visually and mentally, and allowing feelings to become tangible and somewhere kept as an eternal souvenir.

 Copyright © Pauline P. Raybaud
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