1st Place, Sabine Cattaneo, Switzerland
Because of the advancements in medicine and the shift of attitude towards one’s own mortality, the past few decades have seen the emergence of a demand for assistance in hastening the end of life. The debate surrounding the questions around assisted death have become more frequently discussed in contemporary society, but end-of-life is a sensitive topic, and media coverage of the subject is often inaccurate.
So far, only a handful of countries around the world have allowed assisted dying, either in the form of euthanasia or assisted suicide and Switzerland is one of them. While active euthanasia remains illegal there, assisted suicide is regulated by Article 115 of the Swiss Criminal Code, which has been in force since 1942. On those grounds, several right-to-die organisations have found enough leeway to attend to people who request their help to die, provided they comply with specific regulations.
Using a visual language shaped around the concept of "near documentary", this project uses facts, news reports and quotes to re-enact some of the steps taken by Swiss right-to-die organisations during their decades-long activity, and the current state of affairs in the country. By choosing to show places in relation to the topic of assisted dying instead of people, the images seek to do without the forced empathy imposed by any such physical depiction. Instead, the viewer is confronted with an abstract notion of “choice” - or lack thereof - and is invited to form their own thoughts on these situations.