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  1. London, 2014, NOTE: Since this is a new platform to present this project, I have decided to include unseen footage from my father here. The stills, as seen in the original presentation in the previous version of my website will be here as well. I am also presenting here unseen stills that will be found in "Unseen".

    I am also showing the original text, in italics and bold, presented with the project as well as some newer thoughts and edits, in regular font but in dark blue, that I have thought would be worth writing here now that I have rebuilt this site and the project's display as a whole.

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    It was rather difficult to think of the writing that is going next to these photographs. In the end I thought that I might as well go straight to the point. What is written here is a brief account of his later years, my experiences with him and how these photographs came to be.

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    In the end, I think I did OK. I find it difficult to find those "I wish I had...". I look at these photographs and they help me feel he is still around. It may also be that, because of his age, I couldn't have wished for more...too selfish, I think. I was thinking of writing a letter but I couldn't find anything new to say. With the exception of my, now past, smoking habit, I believe I was entirely frank. I can't stress enough how good of a feeling that is, to leave only the lesser things unsaid.

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    One of the things I can think of I wish I had done is to have been a better photographer sooner. Too many useless photographs telling me nothing. Maybe they will mature and will begin to tell me something in the future, or maybe I will mature and understand what they tell me now. I am speaking of those photographs not seen here. The earliest ones I took of him are these ones. I like them because they came out OK at the time when I think I was a mediocre photographer. They are the first ones taken with a purpose, in the summer of 2005, in Hungary.

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    The two photographs below are indeed the first ones I took of my father. At the time I just came to the realization that photography was a great way to keep my own memories of him and of my time with him.

  2. Budapest, Hungary, 2005. My father hangs two cherries from his ear showing me something he used to do when he was a child.

    Budapest, Hungary, 2005. My father hangs two cherries from his ear showing me something he used to do when he was a child.

  3. All I wanted to do at the time was to photograph him as much as I could to help me remember him in more detail. I thought maybe I will forget something that would be in these photographs; like the time he had pneumonia and I spent the night with him in that clinic. When I fell asleep in the sofa that was in the room, I slept under the air conditioning unit. The cold wind that cooled the room came straight to my chest (partially unconvered chest because of a partly unbuttoned shirt a-la latin lover fashion). I woke up with a strong cough and I was diagnosed with bronchitis.

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    I couldn't return to see my father in the clinic until I got better. By the end of that week, my father was instructed to nebulise twice a day, every day, and I was instructed to take my inhaler twice a day, every day. Both of our prescriptions were given "until symptoms disappear". Neither mine nor my father's symptoms disappeared. I thought it was funny that while I tried to look after him, I became ill and we both had prescriptions for chronic cough.

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    On that note, my cough has now subsided but I still sometimes get that specific type of coughing, for which I still take the same inhaler.

  4. Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 2006. Dad in the clinic with the infamous AC on the roof.

    Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 2006. Dad in the clinic with the infamous AC on the roof.

  5. I don't know whether it is an easy task or not to set oneself in the mission to photograph specifically to remember a beloved one. All I remember thinking is that it was a logical thing to do. My father was 94 when I made that decision and I didn't know how much longer he had in this life. Yes, he was healthy and strong but as with anyone reaching that age, it was difficult to predict anything. In any case, it was the logical thing to do and I am very happy I did it.

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    And I would now advise to anyone reading this that if you feel like taking photographs of those around you because you want to remember, do it. It may be one of the best things you ever do.

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    He worked until he really decided to stop, at 97. He was planning, along with my mother, to help my sister raise their granddaughter. We did have too many arguments, some of them very heated. In the end, it didn't matter. I found out that I am as stubborn as he was. That contributed a lot in many of our clashes. Back then I thought it was not proper {*} to have arguments with him but now I think about it and I believe it was good. It reassured him that what he said mattered. Of course it did, but if anyone was to ignore him to avoid confrontation, he wouldn't have known. He was, until his last days, a strong opinion and leader in the family affairs.

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    * To expand the meaning of that sentence, I didn't think of it being "proper", but also not a good idea in general. One of the obvious consequences of aging is psychological frailty and insecurity in one's rationale, memory and overall cognitive performance. Another consequence is physical frailty. Arguments kept us all on our toes psychologically but could have worn my father a bit physically. However, his physical strength was good and thus arguments and discussions were rather beneficial and not detrimental.

  6. Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 2007. Dad getting a haircut at "El Caballero Elegante" (The Elegant Gentleman) a barber shop he frequented since I can remember. My first haircut was in this place, I am almost sure of it.

    Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 2007. Dad getting a haircut at "El Caballero Elegante" (The Elegant Gentleman) a barber shop he frequented since I can remember. My first haircut was in this place, I am almost sure of it.

  7. Overall it was a lot of fun. In 2005, the first time he came to visit me in London, I was living with a Venezuelan of Italian descent and a coursemate from college. Gabo (the Venezuelan man) recommended we all go to this Italian restaurant run by Peruvians. We ordered a bottle of wine and while the food arrived we had finished that bottle. My father looked at me, nodded his head, and squinting one eye said: "another one".

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    By the end of the dinner we had drank three bottles of win, largely between three of us because Gabo was driving. My father was mildly drunk and I had to set up a temporary pissing pot, next to the bed, for him for the night. The owner of the house didn't know this because I didn't want him to get worried about his carpet. My father sat down at the edge of the bed and said: "This was a nice night".

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    This reminds me of a key moment in my life with my father. There was once a time when my parents had split for a few weeks or so. To make up with my mother, my father went to her birthday party (whether he was invited or not, I don't remember. I think I was somewhere between 14-16 years old) loaded with bottles of wine. Long story short; my dad was very drunk and couldn't even walk up the entrance of our apartment building that its lightly angled (about 5 degrees), often taking two steps forwards and three steps backwards. In fear of his loss of balance, I had my first all nighter with black coffee overseeing some 5 trips to the toilet throughout the night, hoping his aim towards the toilet got better as the night went through...

  8. Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 2007 - 2008. Dad and I toasting in NYE at the sound of midnight fireworks.

    Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 2007 - 2008. Dad and I toasting in NYE at the sound of midnight fireworks.