When Annie Levy photographed Jason DaSilva, he spoke of a short film, When I Walk, that he had just completed for the Tribeca Film Festival. He shared with her that after working as a filmmaker for ten years, he made the decision to focus the lens on his own experience with having primary-progressive MS. When I Walk is about his journey as a 30-year-old film director living with a complex disease amidst complex circumstances. His personal narrative is the anchor point in a film that weaves together interviews, incidents in the life of a young filmmaker and current information about multiple sclerosis.

Annie then created a portrait of Jason through her lens.

When thinking about making Jason’s portrait, Annie connects her experience to a passage in Deuteronomy (30:19-20): “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. She says,

“I have read this passage of Scripture so many times that I had almost missed the irony that when actually told that there is a CHOICE of life and death, God has to exhort: choose LIFE. In some strange way I almost imagine Him standing behind me, the chooser, not raising His voice but rather in that same whisper that Elijah heard, saying moment by moment, choose life… so that you and your children may LIVE.”

For more about Jason DaSilva visit www.wheniwalk.com

Annie Levy is a photographer/artist who conceives, creates and exhibits projects that tell stories to transform the way we see things. Her work has been exhibited, among other places at the United Nations, commissioned by The Frick for their art of observation program and has been awarded the NY Post Liberty Medal for Leadership for work with young people at the Bronx’s Montefiore Children’s Hospital. She has recently been expanding the work of putting cameras in the hands of different groups of NYC’s young people. For more about Annie Levy see www.annielevy.com

This work is copyright by Annie Levy and appears here by permission. If you are interested in this work please contact Annie Levy directly or contact us for assistance.

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